Tampa Catholic Rallies Against Brooks DeBartolo In 4A-4 Matchup
Thursday night pitted 4A-4 rivals against each other when the Tampa Catholic Crusaders hosted the Brooks DeBartolo Phoenix. Each team was in search of their first district win of the season and the Phoenix jumped out to the early lead, but the Crusaders rallied with a two-run third inning to take the lead and held off the Phoenix en route to a 3-1 victory.
Momentum began to swing in favor of the Crusaders (2-2, 1-1) in the third inning with two outs. Tanner Alvarado got things started by reaching base on an error, and then singles from Mitchell Carter and Julian Pichardo loaded the bases with two outs. Facing a 1-2 count, Calvin Rucker hit a hard ground ball into the outfield to bring home Alvarado and Carter to give the Crusaders the lead.
Alvarado added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a single from Pichardo to extend the lead to 3-1.
The Phoenix (1-3, 0-2) got on the board first with a two-out, RBI single from Luis Andujar that scored Angel Vargas. Xavier Rodriguez started the game for the Phoenix and got off to a strong start through two quick innings, as Rodriguez struck out three batters over that stretch. Rodriguez ended the night allowing one earned run on six hits through five innings. He struck out four and walked three.
Crusaders’ starter Raphael Del Rio had a strong outing. Del Rio went five innings, allowing just one run on four hits, while striking out one batter. Del Rio exited the game in the sixth inning and handed the ball to senior Shane Adwell, who pitched the final two frames. Adwell allowed no runs and no hits and struck out three to secure the district win and pick up the save.