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Crystal River wins wild affair

The Pirates win a game with 31 runs and 16 errors to maintain its conference and district lead.

By CAREY FREEMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 10, 2001


LECANTO -- It wasn't the kind of game that will leave lasting memories for those involved -- more like the kind most will want to forget.

Yet for Crystal River, it was a win, and that was enough for the Pirates, who outlasted Lecanto 21-10 in a game that saw a combined 16 errors. "This was the third game of the week for both teams, and we played two emotional games already," Crystal River coach Brent Hall said. "This was a game that was in between another district game on Monday (against Wesley Chapel).

"We didn't come out and play great, but we did the things we had to to win. We swung the bats okay and got some good relief from (Ryan) Lindeman. And (starter) Zac Cole did alright. So we came out okay."

Though it was hardly the Pirates' best performance, it did help them maintain their lead in the Class 3A, District 6 and Gulf Coast Athletic Conference standings.

Crystal River (11-1) appeared to be running away with the game after the first inning, but a handful of errors during the next four innings kept the Panthers (3-9) alive until a late-inning push put the Pirates over the top for good.

Crystal River scored eight runs on four hits in the first inning behind RBI singles from Marcus Galvan and Bubba Claytor and a three-run single from Jon Runnels. Cole held his own in the bottom of the first but was touched for four runs in the second and three more in the fourth before giving way to Lindeman. Cole was not helped by his infield, which committed eight errors, including four in the fourth inning.

Lindeman's entry into the game seemed to fuel the Pirates, who held Lecanto scoreless the rest of the way, including setting the Panthers down in order in the sixth and seventh innings. Crystal River added three runs in the fifth, four in the sixth and three more in the seventh to expand its lead to 11. "We don't make a lot of errors," Hall said. "What happened is we had a shortstop (Runnels, who committed six errors) who lost his confidence on a bad hop, and after that, he didn't want to get back in there.

"But we played solid defense at third and second and first and catcher. We didn't have any passed balls or stolen bases or outfield errors. We had one young man who struggled tonight, and his teammates picked him up."

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