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Northside gets past East Lake

By ERIC MUSKATEVC

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 11, 2001


TARPON SPRINGS -- Trailing 5-3 with two outs in the seventh, -- and having already lost a key at-bat to illegal tar -- Northside Christian rallied to beat East Lake 6-5 in a semifinal of the Tarpon Spring Classic.

Mustangs catcher Scott Leffler singled in Andy Park and Lastings Milledge, tying the game at 5 and sending it to extra innings.

In the eighth, Steven Doetsch -- the county home run leader and victim of the tar call in the seventh -- made a great catch in the outfield to prevent an extra-base hit. In the eighth, two bunts brought Justin Barnaky into scoring position, and Park singled to left, giving the Mustangs (18-3), ranked No. 7 in Class 2A, the win.

"That's a lot of adversity for this young team to overcome," Northside coach Darrell Don said.

Don was diplomatic about the tar call, which cost Doetsch, who has eight home runs, a critical opportunity.

"It's a rule, I'm not going to question the call," Don said. "I don't question it at all. The timing was just a little bad."

Northside took a 3-0 lead in the third on a Milledge home run. But a five-hit, five-run fifth inning put the Eagles (12-8) ahead 5-3, setting up Leffler's heroics that tied the game.

East Lake junior Tyler Huegel went seven innings and pitched to one batter in the eighth, striking out eight. Scott McMullian relieved Huegel.

Todd Redmond went 41/3 innings for Northside, striking out seven.

David Scott, who allowed one of East Lake's runs in the fifth, earned the win, allowing two hits and striking out two.

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