The Cobras score nine runs in the final two innings to beat the Bulldogs.
By JAMAL THALJI
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 14, 2001
ZEPHYRHILLS -- Bulldogs coach Bruce Cimorelli needs a break from spring break.
Hudson was the latest team to befuddle his Zephyrhills squad this week. The Cobras rallied from a four-run deficit with a nine-run explosion in the seventh and eighth innings Friday night in an 11-7 win at John F. Clements Field.
"We can't even catch two fly balls in the outfield," said a frustrated Cimorelli, whose team has gone 1-3 over the break. "How can we win the ballgame?"
For Hudson (9-14), the non-district, Sunshine Athletic Conference victory relieved the pain of losing 7-3 to first-year Mitchell the night before.
"We took Mitchell lightly," said Cobras catcher Joe Gucciardo, who went 3-for-5 with five RBI. "We wanted this one bad."
The Bulldogs (9-15) seemed in control after taking a 6-2 lead into the sixth, thanks to early two-run homers by Danny Wardell and Russell Hartley. But the Cobras tied it in the top of the seventh: Rob Petrucci singled in David Leduc; Gucciardo singled in Jimmy Clougher; Mark Wilty's fly ball to rightfield was dropped, scoring Petrucci; and Gucciardo scored when Justin Razey's pop to left was dropped.
In the top of the eighth, Razey's deep single scored Leduc to give Hudson its first lead, 7-6.
The Cobras then loaded the bases and Gucciardo sealed the win with a knock-out grand slam, punching the 1-1 fast ball over the centerfield fence.
Petrucci (3-4) earned the win, allowing two hits and striking out 13 in 62/3 innings of work.
GULF 7, EAST LAKE 3: The Bucs won a Class 5A, District 9 game over the Eagles as pitcher Joe Dan Fagan got his fifth win of the season.
David Pirman doubled and Johnny Wirick and Nelson Rodriguez belted home runs as Gulf improved to 11-13.