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Spring break includes some changes

By PETE YOUNG

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 7, 2001


It's that time of year again -- spring break -- when Seminole and Dunedin host their annual tournaments. However, a couple of things are different this year.

Change No. 1: They are not alone. Tarpon Springs is joining the fray. The Spongers will host a seven-team tournament begining today. Change No. 2: There is a one-week gap between the end of the tournaments and the beginning of the district playoffs. Last year, districts started a few days after the tournaments ended.

"It's a lot better this way. A lot better in all aspects," Dunedin coach Tom Hilbert said of the break before districts.

The Steve Georgiadis Tournament at Seminole annually is one of the season's most memorable events. The tournament honors Georgiadis, a former Seminole star (1988 graduate) and University of Florida pitcher who died in 1990 of complications following shoulder surgery.

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY: A hard 20-minute downpour Thursday left Countryside's poor-draining field unplayable, postponing its game with St. Petersburg. The Green Devils, (5-2 in Class 5A, District 12) and Cougars (5-2) were to decide the No. 1 seed in the district tournament. The top seed will not have to play Seminole until at least the final.

If they can't reschedule, Countryside would be the top seed by virtue of its 1-0 win over St. Petersburg last month. Neither team has beaten Seminole, but Seminole forfeited its first 10 games for using an ineligible player.

ONE SWING: Shorecrest managed only one hit Thursday against the 2000 Class A state runners-up, Brito Miami Private. It was all the Chargers needed.

Mike Giroud's fourth-inning home run accounted for all of the scoring. Ryan Heacox (7-1) went the distance and pitched a four-hitter for the Chargers (14-6). Brito (17-6) is ranked No. 3 in Class A.

It was the second win this week for a county private school against a South Florida private school powerhouse. Tuesday in Sarasota, Clearwater Central Catholic defeated Miami Monsignor Pace 6-5. Pace is ranked No. 6 in Class 3A. CCC backed it up Wednesday with a 4-3 win over perennial power Venice.

THE CHAMPS: St. Petersburg beat Gibbs 10-3 on Wednesday to improve to 6-0 in the Pinellas County Athletic Conference South Division and ensure a berth in the April 20 title game.

MR. PERFECT: Dunedin's Bryan Banks is 5-0 and hasn't allowed an earned run in 32 innings. Not bad for a guy playing with a broken wrist.

Banks was one of three Falcons who sustained injuries in a Feb. 22 car crash. However, it wasn't learned until two weeks ago that Banks, a right-hander, also had a broken left wrist.

While it obviously hasn't impaired his pitching, Banks has been unable to hit. Last season, he hit .373 with 9 doubles and 15 stolen bases in 16 attempts. Banks has done some pinch-running. BLAME THE NEW GUY: Brandon Huskins, a senior transfer from North Carolina, has been a huge addition for Dixie Hollins. Huskins is 6-2 with a 0.77 ERA in 542/3 innings, 54 strikeouts and just 7 walks. He also is batting .322.

COLLEGE BOUND: Palm Harbor U. ace left-hander Nate Craft signed with Manatee Community College, and PHU outfielder Logan Ray signed with Georgia Perimeter, a two-year school in Dunwoody, Ga.

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