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Berkeley Prep Stays Undefeated in 5-1 Win Over Tampa Catholic

Berkeley Prep’s flawless record moved to 9-0 with a 5-1 victory over district rival Tampa Catholic on Friday night. Led by a strong five-inning, nine-strikeout performance by starting pitcher Casey Keller and a good offensive showing, the Buccaneers have showed why they are now 4-0 and atop the 4A-4 standings.

Before Friday’s game Berkeley Prep had gone 23 straight innings without allowing a run, the last one coming in the fifth inning against Mulberry on February 13th. That theme continued when right-handed starter Keller got the strikeout working early, striking out the side in the bottom of the first and holding the Crusaders scoreless in the second inning as well.

Tampa Catholic (3-6, 2-3) finally broke through when shortstop Anthony Rodriguez went second-to-home on a throwing error after reaching base on an infield hit. Rodriguez showed a strong offensive prowess for Tampa Catholic, going 3-for-4 with two stolen bases.

The Buccaneers were ready to pick their starter up during the bottom half of inning number three, scoring three runs thanks to the efforts by the top half of the lineup. Third baseman Carson Weekly started things off by singling home shortstop Spencer Myers, who singled to lead off the inning, before stealing second to put himself into scoring position.

Designated Hitter Dylan Brown was not to be outdone however, delivering with a two-run single with the bases loaded to plate Gordon Stetson and pinch-runner Tucker Fine, who was running for the catcher, Jakob Hines. After another strong two-strikeout inning by Keller, the Buccaneers earned a bit more breathing room when second baseman Khalib Bayona was plated with a base hit by Myers. The Buccaneers’ offensive surge by the Buccaneers finally ended when Bayona was plated yet again by Myers, who finished the day 3-for-4 with a stolen base.

Right fielder Tyler Fagler was pulled into the game in the sixth to close out the game. He started by striking out the first three batters he faced, adding another to his count in the seventh as well as sitting down the final six batters of the game in order.

Although Tampa Catholic kept Keller on his toes all night, putting at least one man on base in every inning he pitched, the lone Rodriguez run would be all the Crusaders pushed across the plate, leaving a total of eight players on base throughout the game. 

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