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Eight errors doom Gulf against Tarpon Springs

By JAMAL THALJI

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 11, 2001


TARPON SPRINGS -- Gulf hasn't had much to fall back on this season, but the Buccaneers did have two cornerstones to build on: pitching and defense.

Tuesday night in the semifinals of the first annual Tarpon Springs tournament, that foundation crumbled. Gulf committed eight errors in a 6-1 loss as the Spongers advanced to Thursday's final. The Bucs will play at 5 p.m. today in the consolation bracket.

"I thought we were going to turn the corner this week," Gulf coach Shaun Wiemer said. "Pitching and defense have been our cornerstones, but then we give up six errors in the infield."

The Bucs were shut down at the plate by Tarpon Springs sophomore Mark Davis, who pitched his first complete game, giving up just two runs and striking out six. Gulf's Joe Dan Fagan took the loss and fell to 4-5.

The Bucs (9-12) came up with a run in the first inning when Joey Aldridge stole third and scored when the catcher's errant throw found the outfield.

The Spongers (7-16) tied it in the second when Stephen Housh took third and home thanks to errors. Then Tarpon Springs' Jesse Lane hit a two-run single in the fifth to take a 3-1 lead. Then Davis had an RBI-double in the sixth, and two more runs scored in the seventh off passed balls.

"We were very fortunate," Spongers coach Brad Byers said. "It's been a long season for us. But we showed some signs of life tonight."

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