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SPC falls short of state baseball title

St. Petersburg College baseball coach Dave Pano thought his Titans were in a strong spot.

By JOE SMITH
Published May 9, 2007


St. Petersburg College baseball coach Dave Pano thought his Titans were in a strong spot.

In both the seventh and ninth innings of SPC's state playoff matchup with Central Florida Community College Tuesday afternoon in Winter Haven, the Titans had runners in scoring position and the state's RBI leader, sophomore Christopher Garcia, at the plate.

But each time, the Titans couldn't capitalize in their 3-2 loss, ending their season one win shy of the state junior college championship game.

The Titans (37-17) threw sophomore Michael Wanamaker, who shut out CFCC in a first-round win. But Wanamaker lasted until the third, when CFCC scored twice to take the lead for good. SPC freshman Tommy Meagher came in, pitching six scoreless innings, making a strong case to be a starter next season.

SPC, the 2005 state champion, entered the tournament after winning the Suncoast Conference championship for the fifth time in seven years.

"We had all the chances in the world to win it, " Pano said. "It was tough."

USF notes

BASKETBALL: Former Brandon basketball star Zaronn Cann, whose scholarship is not being renewed by Bulls coach Stan Heath, has talked with Division II Eckerd College and Florida Southern about transferring to play the next three years. Cann, whose two seasons at USF were limited by two knee surgeries, said he took an unofficial visit to James Madison last week.

FOOTBALL: Plant senior Mike Walsh will attend USF and has accepted an offer to walk on as a long-snapper, Plant coach Robert Weiner said.

Football

HALL OF FAME: Broadcaster Ahmad Rashad, who as Bobby Moore was a star at Oregon, is one of 75 players and eight coaches up for election to the College Football Hall of Fame. The latest class will be announced by the National Football Foundation today. Among those eligible for the first time are Heisman Trophy winners Tim Brown from Notre Dame and Doug Flutie from Boston College.

Rashad left Oregon with 14 school records and went on to an 11-year NFL career, having his best seasons with the Vikings. For religious reasons, he changed his name in 1972.

EAST CAROLINA: Defensive line coach Donnie Thompson was arrested and charged with one count of obtaining property by false pretenses. Greenville police said he is accused of submitting more than $11, 000 worth of fraudulent expense receipts. He was suspended with full pay in accordance with university policy, and a search for a replacement will begin immediately.

GEORGIA: Linebacker Akeem Hebron, 18, has been suspended for the 2007 season for underage possession of alcohol for the second time in two months. He will be on probation until Dec. 15, 2009, and any other alcohol-related infraction could get him expelled.

ILLINOIS: A former player accused of stealing wallets, computers and electronic devices will stand trial this month on burglary and theft charges. Derrick McPhearson was given a May 21 trial date. Co-defendant Jody Ellis agreed to plead guilty to a single burglary count and has a June 11 plea hearing. The two wide receivers were arrested March 2.

MIAMI: Slain player Bryan Pata will receive a posthumous degree from university president Donna Shalala during commencement exercises Friday. Pata, a 22-year-old defensive lineman and criminology major, was shot multiple times in the back of the head outside his Miami apartment Nov. 7. Police do not have a motive or suspects.