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Undefeated Plant hands Gaither its first loss of the season in an 11-2 rout.
By BRENDAN GALELLA, Times Correspondent
Published February 26, 2008
TAMPA - Plant did its best to live up to the lofty expectations placed on the team with an 11-2 victory over Gaither.
The Panthers were selected as the third-best team in the nation, according to a preseason ranking by Perfect Game Cross Checker, a Web site dedicated to high school baseball.
Plant is one of three teams from Florida included in the top 10 of the poll.
Playing a makeup game following a rainout Saturday, Plant wasted no time putting the game out of reach. In the bottom of the first, the Panthers scored a run in four consecutive plate appearances and the Cowboys (3-1) never challenged.
"It's always important to get out to a good start, especially against good teams," Panther coach Dennis Braun said. "When you go out and score some runs quickly, it really helps the team out and allows for some breathing room."
Mychal Givens allowed only one unearned run in five innings, scored two runs and stole a base as Plant improved to 4-0.
Senior Preston Tucker broke the game open with a three-run double off the centerfield wall to give Plant a 7-1 lead. Tucker had two doubles and four RBIs.
"He's going to get his hits," Braun said. "No doubt the team leans on him and our other seniors a little bit. It really paid off tonight."