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Sarasota (27-3) plays Miami Palmetto in the Class 6A state semifinals.
By SCOTT PURKS
Published May 10, 2007
SARASOTA - The first flyball, from Sarasota's first hitter, sailed 70 feet in the air and drifted, drifted ...falling just off the glove of Alonso third baseman Aaron Baroff.
One play. But a big play.
In a game where almost every play was significant, that play, the first, hurt the Ravens as much as any other. Three hitters later, Sailor Joey Rapp hit a seeing-eye grounder between the shortstop and third baseman and two runs scored.
"I felt a whole lot better after that, " Sarasota coach Clyde Metcalf said. "To get up two runs in a (region final) like this is huge."
It was. Sarasota didn't score until its final at-bat in the seventh inning when winning pitcher, Evan Stobbs, hit a towering single to the fence, sealing a 3-2 victory when Casey Kelly ran across the plate.
"That's baseball, " said Alonso starter Tommy Toledo, who gave up one earned run in 61/3 innings. "We played well but Sarasota did what it had to do to win."
Alonso (27-4) came back to tie at 2 with a run each in the third and fourth innings, scoring on a couple of hits, both singles, of which they collected only three on the night.
"When Alonso came back with those runs to tie it they had the momentum, " Metcalf said. "But we were okay. We hung in there and (Stobbs) got stronger as the game went on."
In the last three innings the Ravens sent nine players to the plate, all of whom went down.
"This was a game that could have gone either way, " Alonso coach Landy Faedo said. "Again, though, that's baseball. We know that. We understand this is how it can go."
Sarasota (27-3) plays Miami Palmetto in the Class 6A state semifinals May 19 at Sarasota's Ed Smith Stadium.