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Eagles put up fight but lose to Lancers

Seminole Presbyterian scores 13 runs in two innings to claim its third consecutive district title.

By MIKE READLING, Times staff

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 28, 2001

TAMPA -- Having watched the two regular-season games between Temple Heights and Seminole Presbyterian, it seemed as though everyone was counting on a Lancer walkthrough in Friday's Class A, District 9 championship.

Including the Lancers.

After all, Seminole outscored Temple Heights 49-1 in those two meetings and was throwing its No. 1 pitcher, Justin Craig, who entered the game needing six strikeouts to reach 100 for the season.

The Lancer fans got what they were looking for, but only after the Eagles sent a pretty good shock through the crowd at John J. Pizzio Jr. Memorial Field.

Seminole Presbyterian scored 13 runs in two innings to come from behind and defeat Temple Heights 13-3 in a game shortened to five innings due to the 10-run rule.

The Lancers, who earned their third consecutive district title, will host Canterbury, a 5-3 loser to Indian Rocks Christian, Tuesday night in the regional playoffs. Temple Heights (4-12) will travel to IRC. After Craig (11-1) pitched a perfect three innings to begin the game, recording strikeout No. 100 to lead off the third, Temple Heights put together a two-out rally. It scored three runs on three hits, including a two-run single by Jay Craparo to take a 3-0 lead.

Seminole, ineffective offensively in the first three innings, answered with five runs in the bottom of the fourth. The rally included back-to-back doubles by Eric Perez and Joe Vallejo and gave the Lancers the lead for good.

"That was the three-run alarm clock," Seminole coach J.J. Pizzio said of Temple Heights grabbing the lead. "Sometimes that's what it takes."

Temple Heights shut down early Seminole with great defense. Centerfielder Ryan Edmonds made a diving grab of a sinking liner to start the second, and first baseman Kerry Watson snared a hard line drive while virtually standing on first base to record a double play and end the third.

"We weren't ready to play, but they made some really good defensive plays," Pizzio said.

"They had some big plays to kill some innings before we could start a rally." -- MIKE READLING

A-9 softball

Seminole Presbyterian rolled to its seventh consecutive district title with a 10-0 win over Bayshore Christian in a game cut short by the 10-run rule.

The Lancers, who have advanced to five of the past seven state final fours, broke the game open with a six-run sixth inning. Kristi Korman earned the win by allowing only two hits.

"We weren't hitting the ball, but we were playing solid defense," Bayshore coach Raymond Tapia said. "I knew it was just a matter of time before we started hitting."

Seminole will host Lakeside Christian on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the Rome and Sligh Fields. Bayshore will travel to play Keswick Christian. -- TIMES STAFF

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