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Playoff losses send teams home


© St. Petersburg Times, published May 6, 2001

The region quarterfinals were not kind to several North of Tampa area baseball squads. Gaither, Wharton and Leto all fell in the opening round of the state playoffs May 1. Gaither, the Class 6A, District 7 runner-up, lost 7-2 to Venice while Class 5A, District 11 runner-up Wharton was edged 8-7 by Charlotte. And surprising Class 4A, District 10 champion Leto was brought back to reality in a 12-0 loss to Clearwater.

Four Cowboy errors helped Venice score five unearned runs in the first inning, causing Gaither to end the season 19-10. Meanwhile, Wharton (15-11), saw a 6-1 lead evaporate as Charlotte came back to win. Billy Wimberly went 4-for-4 for the Wildcats in their first regional playoff appearance. The young Falcons (11-16), fell in five innings to a solid Clearwater team. Leto, a team with just two seniors and one junior, committed four errors that led directly to five runs.

MORE BASEBALL: The All-Western Conference Baseball Team was announced on Wednesday, highlighted with many North of Tampa area players. In the National Division, Leto designated hitter Antoine Ware was named to the first team. His Falcon teammates Sergio Perez (pitcher), Justin Valdes (infielder) and Lamont Jordan (outfielder) were named to the second team.

In the Federal Division, Gaither's Ryan Anderson (pitcher), Eric Thompson (catcher), Kris Howell (outfielder) and Ty Taborelli (outfielder) were named to the first team. Wharton's Wimberly (infield), Wayne Hedden (pitcher) and Alex Karas (designated hitter) were named first team, as were Sickles infielders Brian Scoville and Grant Champman. Chamberlain pitcher Tony Irvin, along with infielders Zac Kirby, Rocky Rocamora, outfielder Steve Howard and DH Matt Kubal were named to the Federal Division second team. Other players named to the second team included Wharton's Rich Eber (catcher), Matt McHargue (infielder) and Alan Swan (outfielder) and Sickles' Adam Drury (catcher).

SOFTBALL: Leto had its chances, but ultimately fell 8-7 to Land O'Lakes in the Class 4A-3 regional quarterfinals. Leto led 5-4 after five innings thanks to Sabrina Bertrandt's two-run double and an RBI single from Alexis Martinez. But Land O'Lakes eventually would rally to take the win. The Falcons ended the season 8-12 and the 4A, District 10 runner-up.

SCHOLARSHIPS: Sickles outside hitter Molly Greenwood has signed a scholarship with the University of Tampa. An All-Conference volleyball performer, Greenwood helped lead the Gryphons to the state playoffs as the Class 6A, District 7 runner-up. Greenwood also was named as her school's Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Wharton track standout Andrew Fulton has been honored as the Dave Logan Scholarship winner, awarded by cable news station Bay News 9. He is a member of the Senior Class Council and the National Honor Society. Fulton will receive an undisclosed amount of money toward the college of his choice.

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