Tampa Catholic Withstands Rally From Clearwater Central Catholic
The Tampa Catholic Crusaders hosted the Clearwater Central Catholic Marauders Tuesday night in a 4A-4 match-up of two teams looking to pump the brakes on recent losing streaks. The Crusaders scored early in the game to take a lead they never relinquished and held off a rally by the Marauders to defeat their district foe by a 5-3 final.
The Crusaders (3-5, 2-2) got things rolling in the bottom of the first when Anthony Enriquez and Jordan Lala were issued back-to-back walks to start the game. Mitchell Carter then reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Enriquez came around to scored the first run of the game when he was brought home by way of a walk to senior Roland Chacon. Two more runs crossed the plate in the inning when junior Conor Grady doubled to left field, bringing home Lala and Carter.
The Marauders (2-6, 0-2) came in having been shut out in their only other district game of the season and hoped to avoid a repeat of that. After falling behind 3-0, the Marauders responded quickly in the top of the second when Michael Bessell scored on a hard ground ball single by Charlie Welch. Later in the inning Chase Arnold scored to the cut the lead to 3-2. The Crusaders added another run the bottom half of the inning to bring the lead back up to two.
Bessell added an RBI in the top of the fifth when a ground-ball single brought home Derek Smolenksi to trim the lead to one. However, the Crusaders added an insurance run in bottom of the sixth when Enriquez scored because of an error by the Marauders infield.
Chacon came into pitch the seventh inning for the Crusaders and secured the district win for his team. Chacon threw 25 pitches and struck-out two of the five batters he faced, walking only one.