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Four county teams to play in Dunedin


© St. Petersburg Times, published April 14, 2000

It is called the Dunedin Easter Baseball Tournament, but a more apropos name might be the "District Tournament Tuneup Tournament", because that's how most schools are approaching it.

River Ridge, Hudson, Pasco and Ridgewood will all compete beginning Saturday through April 21 at the Englebert Baseball Complex, spring training home of the Toronto Blue Jays.

All four county teams are matched against Pinellas County teams in Saturday's first round. River Ridge plays Countryside, Pasco plays Pinellas Park and Hudson plays Dunedin in 5 p.m. games. Ridgewood meets East Lake at 8.

Only Ridgewood is playing an opponent it has met before. East Lake is in the Rams' district and beat Ridgewood 10-3 on Tuesday.

"We will also probably have to play them in districts," Ram coach Larry Beets said. "That was the one team we didn't want to see again."

River Ridge will start ace Chris Langlois against Countryside, and coach Jack Homko is looking forward to a good tournament for his team, which has been playing some of its best ball recently.

The Royal Knights shut out St. Petersburg Catholic Monday and beat Crystal River 5-4 Tuesday, giving the team only its second two-game winning streak this season and first since March 14.

"We are actually playing better, scoring some runs and playing better defense," Homko said. "We've also been getting some pretty solid pitching. Brandon Dellechiaie, a sophomore, got his first win against St. Pete Catholic, and (freshman) Justin Roth, our lefty, got the save. We're going in the right direction."

The championship game is Friday at 8 p.m. If a team wins its first game, it is guaranteed at least four contests. Otherwise, teams will get at least three.

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