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One-man show helps Dade City majors win

Jamie Cruz contributes at the plate and on the mound in a 3-2 victory over Apopka.


© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 22, 2001

DADE CITY -- Jamie Cruz had a hand in every aspect of Dade City's 3-2 win over defending state major baseball champion Apopka at Burks Park on Saturday.

Cruz went 3-for-3 and drove in all three runs as Dade City advanced in the sectional tournament. Cruz also made sure his the held up on the mound, striking out six.

"You have to take your hat off for Jamie Cruz. He pitched an unbelievable game," Dade City coach Dale Maggard said. "He gave up a home run in the first inning, but he didn't quit. And he had a big hit in the bottom of the fifth that drove in the winning run."

Apopka beat Dade City 3-2 in eight innings in last year's sectional semifinals. However, Dade City spent little time savoring its win.

"Tomorrow's a totally different day, and you don't know what's going to happen," Maggard said. "Our philosophy all year has been fear nobody and respect everybody."

Dade City meets Bloomingdale National at 3:30 p.m today for a berth in Wednesday's final. Bloomingdale beat Tampa Bay 5-1 Saturday.

Early afternoon showers wreaked havoc on just about every team in the tournament, especially the Land O'Lakes senior softball team.

Already short-handed, it had its first game washed away.

Land O'Lakes already was missing six players due to vacations and the International Fast Pitch World Series. Land O'Lakes coach Laura Bloomer had 10 of her players at the original start time of 12:30 p.m.

By 6 p.m., two players had left, forcing a forfeit to Citrus Park.

"If they don't have the commitment, you don't have a team," Bloomer said.

"As long as they show up with their heads in the game, they're fine. They just need to forget about what happened today."

Land O'Lakes plays Frostproof at 6 p.m. today in the loser's bracket.

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