By WAYNE GRUMET
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 23, 2001
DADE CITY -- Pasco should have gotten to Central pitcher Patrick Ryan when it had the chance Thursday.
Central's senior ace allowed four hits over the first three innings. Pasco couldn't take advantage, however, stranding those four runners.
From the fourth inning on, Ryan gave Pasco hitters little to work with. The Bears cruised to a 4-0 win as Ryan tossed a five-hit shutout.
"Maybe if we got in the right frame of mind early," said Pasco coach Ricky Giles. "We're a lot better than the way we play. We've just got to get that killer instinct."
Central (2-2) executed its game plan perfectly. The Bears took advantage of every chance they had to build a comfortable lead.
Central shortstop Jamie McElfresh led off the second inning with a double. McElfresh then advanced to third on a dropped third strike. He would score during the next at-bat thanks to a Lee Cruz wild pitch.
The Bears began the fifth inning with consecutive bunt singles by Chris Bowden and D.J. Anderson. One batter later, John Sirvent brought both runners home with a double to right off Pasco reliever Bobby Badger.
Rich Lisi then drove Sirvent home with another double to give Ryan all the support he needed.
"That's Bear ball. We just try to get guys on and we don't have a lot of big power hitters who hit a lot of home runs," said Central coach Gary Buel. "We just try and get runners on and move them any way we can."
Sirvent was the biggest Bear bat, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
Pasco (3-3) struck out eight times against Ryan. Anton Standifer was the only Pirate to hit Ryan. Standifer had a single and a double with a stolen base. Two of Pasco's three other hits were infield singles.