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Warhawks cruise past Cougars

Seminole puts away Countryside early to win the Class 5A, District 10 championship 13-1.

By KEN SMITH and AARON THOMAS

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 28, 2001


SEMINOLE -- Seminole smacked 12 hits and took advantage of five Countryside errors to beat the Cougars 13-1 in five inings for the Class 5A, District 10 title.

Jon Killalea and Errol Blumer led the Warhawks (17-10) with three hits and three RBI each. Killalea pitched four innings for the victory, holding the Cougars to just two hits.

The game started ominously for Countryside when second baseman Cody Clay misplayed a high chopper by leadoff batter Donnelle Williams. Jon Skorupski doubled to knock in Williams. Then Bob Wilson singled in Skorupski.

Blumer hit a hard grounder to third that was stabbed by Chris Giyan. But Giyan threw wildly to first. Killalea singled up the middle to score Blumer. Phil Stillwell singled, and T.J. Large hit a sacrifice fly to knock in Blumer and Killalea, completing a five-run Seminole first. Seminole scored six runs in the fourth inning to put the game out of reach.

Killalea retired 12 of the 15 batters he faced. "(Killalea) had great location on the ball," Seminole coach Scott Miller said. "He stayed within himself and hit all of the spots he needed to."

Miller credited Seminole's hot bats to two days of extensive batting practice. "We're swinging the bats well," he said. "Everybody's contributing."

Killalea improved to 9-0.

"He's as good a pitcher as I've ever seen," Miller said.

Seminole will host Gulf, a 6-4 loser to Ridgewood in the 5A-9 final, in a regional game Tuesday. Countryside will travel to Ridgewood.

"We plan on continuing to keep playing hard and having fun," Miller said. -- KEN SMITH

A-10: IRC beats Canterbury

ST. PETERSBURG -- Christopher Cranfield pitched a complete game, striking out eight, to lead the Indian Rocks Christian to a 5-3 victory over Canterbury in the final.

The Golden Eagles (14-11) will host Temple Heights in a regional game Tuesday while the Crusaders will travel to Seminole Presbyterian.

"Everyone got involved," Golden Eagles coach D.J. Springman said. "Everybody made the plays they needed to make."

Springman also said that Cranfield threw a great game and was able to settle down after giving up a run in the first and second innings.

"All I did was throw hard, and I hit a lot of corners," Cranfield said. "I thought about the Fort Myers tournament (when in I got in trouble) because it was a similar situation."

The Crusaders committed three errors, and starter Rob Lee committed a balk, which led to one of two runs in the fourth inning. Centerfielder Matt Sitton accounted for half of the Golden Eagles' hits, going 3-for-3 with 3 singles, 1 run and 2 RBI. Sitton also drew one of five walks issued by Lee. Crusaders pitchers gave up seven walks in all.

"As the leadoff hitter, you try to be the leader of the team," Sitton said. "The leadoff hitter sets the tempo of how the team plays the rest of the game."- AARON THOMAS

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