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Pasco's falls 16-1 to Orlando Bishop Moore in Class 4A region championship.
By JOHN C. COTEY
Published May 10, 2007
DADE CITY - They came early Wednesday morning, sneaking in through a break in a fence in the woods behind home plate, setting up their lawn chairs for the big game later that night.
By 8 a.m., there were 30 chairs lined up two deep at Death Valley on the Pasco side.
By the time the game started, each one had a butt in it, and that's the way it pretty much stayed for every pitch of Pasco's 16-1 loss to Orlando Bishop Moore in a Class 4A region championship.
The Pirates gave their faithful no reason to jump up and cheer, falling behind the state's No.1-ranked team early and never recovering. They trotted five pitchers to the mound in an effort to stop the bleeding, but there was no solution to be found - the Hornets 29-1 pounded out 11 hits, including two home runs, drew five walks and benefited from two errors and four wild pitches.
"Our pitching kind of folded on us tonight, " said coach Ricky Giles. "But you know, they did carry us this far."
Pasco County's best pitching staff had no snap Wednesday night. Curveballs didn't curve. Changeups bounced to the plate. Only the fastballs seemed to be working, but mostly in Bishop Moore's favor.
"I was feeling pretty good out there, but I just couldn't get my curveball over tonight and they were hitting my fastball, " said junior starter Aaron Brandt, who sustained the first loss of his high school career. Prior to Wednesday, he was 9-0 after going 6-0 last season.
But Brandt wasn't hit particularly hard and was one out from getting out of the second inning unscathed after a scoreless first.
With the bases loaded, shortstop Jake Schrader stopped a grounder in the hole, but threw it away to make it 2-0. The next batter hit a grounder toward second that rolled through to make it 3-0, ending Brandt's night as Bishop Moore went on to score seven in the inning.
Four relievers - Josh Schofield, Dustin Brown, Alex Morphew and Henry Jones - would follow but none could stem the Hornets attack as Bishop Moore knocked Pasco out of the playoffs for the third time in four seasons.
After Pasco scored its only run on Brown's groundout to plate Zach Maggard in the fourth inning, making it 10-1, the Pirates hopes for averting the mercy rule dissipated in Bishop Moore's six-run fifth inning.
"We got a little eye opening tonight, " Giles said.
Orlando Bishop Moore 16, Pasco 1
Bishop Moore 072 16 - 16 11 0
Pasco 000 10 - 1 2 3
W - Horton (14-0). L - Brandt (9-1). 2B - BM: Theisen, Cox; P: Perez. HR - BM: McMahan, Dades. Records - Bishop Moore 29-1, Pasco 26-4.