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St. Petersburg spots Bogie lead then rolls

John Stang strikes out 13 and improves to 4-0 as the Green Devils take care of the Pirates 9-2.

By ALEX LYNCH

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 10, 2001


ST. PETERSBURG -- Boca Ciega scored two runs in the first inning, but St. Petersburg took control afterward, scoring nine unanswered runs for a 9-2 victory at Crescent Park.

St. Petersburg (6-4) is 3-1 in Class 5A, District 10, with its only loss coming to powerhouse Seminole. The Pirates came into the game looking for a win after losing consecutive games to Pinellas Park and Largo. In the top of the first, Ben Pincus and Brad Baker slapped back-to-back hits for Boca Ciega (6-6). When St. Petersburg starter John Stang attempted a pickoff at second, the ball went into centerfield, scoring Pincus. Ben Barber followed with a single to score Baker for the second run.

The Pirates started Pincus (3-1), a left-hander who looked good through the first two innings.

But Stang stole the show.

After Boca Ciega gave up three runs on two errors in the third, Stang went to work, growing stronger as the game wore on. He struck out 13 with one walk and one earned run in throwing a complete game. In the sixth, working with a 5-2 lead, Stang gave up a leadoff triple to Barber.

But Stang (4-0) handled the pressure and struck out the next three batters to thwart the rally.

In all, Stang struck out five of the final six batters he faced. "I wasn't feeling too good at the beginning of the game. I was a little sick." Stang said. "But I got warmed up.

"And when they got that triple, I just made it a point not to let them score."

"(Stang) is our ace," St. Petersburg coach Stefan Futch said.

"We will go as far as he takes us."

On offense, Tyler Reid led the Green Devils with a single, a three-run triple and two runs scored.

Tyler Powers added two hits (one double), a sacrifice fly RBI and a run scored.

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