By STEVE JACKSON
The five South Shore high school baseball teams play a total of nine games this week, starting Monday, March 27, through Saturday, April 1. Diamond wins for the South Shore squads were under par for last week, posting three wins and seven losses. Spoto led the way with one victory. Both Lennard and Sumner went 1-1 last week. Riverview’s four-game win streak ended as the Sharks lost both games last week. The East Bay Indians slipped to a 2-9 record, dropping all three games last week.
Spoto sports a 7-4 record as the Spartans hosted the 5-6 Riverview Sharks in an early week game. Other games this week for Spoto include the 4-7 Robinson Knights, Thursday evening at 7. Spoto Coach Stephen Knight then takes his Spartans to Tampa this Saturday morning for a 10 a.m. match with 3-9 King High. Neighboring rival East Bay was the site of Spoto’s 11-7 win last week. The Spartans banged out nine hits and collected 13 walks in the slugfest battle with the Indians. Spoto junior Peyton Nisy hit 2/3 with a pair of RBIs at the plate. Other offensive Spartan contributors included freshman Anthony Alicea with 2/4, one run, one RBI. Junior Cullen Cairns went 1/2, two runs and one RBI. Senior Chase Wink chipped in with 1/2, two runs, one RBI and three walks. Junior Abel Jiminez was 1/5, one run, one RBI. Senior Tyler Rucker had 1/3, one RBI. Sophomore Kewan Massie was 0/1 but had a pair of runs and a pair of RBIs. Fellow soph Mike McQueen was 1/2 and two runs. Senior Mikey Albritton garnered three walks. Enjoying all this support was Spoto pitcher Nisy who yielded to EB 10 hits and seven runs with only three earned. Wink also threw on the mound for Spoto.
The Lennard Longhorns also enjoyed a big day at the plate in last week’s 14-0 whipping of the 3-8 Palmetto High Tigers. Coach Victor Martinez’ Horns swamped Palmetto with three runs in the first inning and 10 scores in the fourth inning. Senior Carter Payne pitched four innings, giving up three hits and striking out seven. Offensive support was plentiful, provided by senior Joseph Rivera with 3/3, one run and five RBIs. Frosh Mikie Locke went 2/2, two RBIs. Senior Tim Mendizabal was 2/3, two runs, and two RBIs. Junior Matthew Counts was 2/3, two runs, one RBI. Sophomore RJ Torres was 1/3, one run, one RBI. Senior Alex Brazen, one of Lennard’s top season offensive producers, was 0/0 but scored twice with two walks and a hit-by-pitch.
Lennard could not maintain its winning ways against the Durant Cougars last Friday evening. Neighboring Durant dumped Lennard 5-3 with two unearned runs off Lennard’s Zack Bird.
Lennard hosted 8-3 Bloomingdale for a tough match-up early this week. Next week two foes from the South Shore provide the opposition. At 4 p.m., April 4, the Longhorns travel to East Bay, and on April 6, the Riverview Sharks visit Ruskin.
Lennard then has an unusual, tough Saturday morning diamond date in Spring Hill at 10 a.m. with 8-3 Bishop McLaughlin Catholic Hurricanes.
The Riverview Sharks have three tough games this week, looking to bounce back under Coach Jason Smith after falling to a 5-6 worksheet last week. The Sharks travel to 7-4 Spoto early this week to face the Spartans. Then a trip to Tampa to face 8-3 Plant High follows March 30. Riverview returns home to clash with the 9-4 Alonso Ravens on Saturday, April 1, at 10 a.m. Then next week at 7 p.m. on April 3, the 4-7 Plant City Raiders come to Riverview prior to the April 6 contest with Lennard at Ruskin.
The 7-5 Steinbrenner Warriors hosted Riverview in an early week clash March 21. Both teams managed six hits apiece, but the Sharks committed three errors to aid a 7-1 win by Steinbrenner. Senior Shark Adrian Rolon, a top Riverview hitter all season long, with Farah Castillo collected two hits. Knocking out a hit each for the Sharks were soph Sebastian Rojos, junior Dominic Terrell, and freshmen Justin Edwards and Elijah Tishman. Michael Sims-Gallagher and Connar Satterfield toed the losing rubber for Riverview. The Sharks welcomed 2-8 Brandon to its diamond for a late-week game, but in a stunning upset the Eagles won a pitchers’ duel 1-0. Riverview senior hurler Victor Peinado and junior Jeff Berrios only gave up a lone run in the first by Peinado, but that was enough to beat Riverview.
East Bay lost three games last week. Jefferson High thrashed the Indians 10-1 behind an offensive onslaught for the visiting Dragons. Jefferson dinged the ball for 14 hits and collected five walks and five stolen bases in the early-week rout. The EB offense showed up versus Spoto March 23 but not much Indians’ pitching as EB fell 11-7. A Saturday morning trip to play Alonso resulted in a 4-1 EB defeat.
The Indians Coach Rowland Ruiz took his squad to Plant City for an early-week game. Then this week’s schedule gets a little rougher. On April 4 the Indians host Lennard. An April 6 match at tough Durant follows.
Sumner High went 1-1 last week, losing a 5-0 shutout to Newsome after taking an extra-inning contest from Wharton 7-6. An early week game saw a Stingray visit to weak 2-8 Brandon. Sumner visits Plant City April 6 and has a date with Lennard in Ruskin April 10 at 7 p.m. Coach Kennedy Duran’s ballclub is 8-4 heading to the Brandon game early this week. (For comprehensive coverage of Sumner High sports by Francis Fedor, see article and photos elsewhere every week in The Observer News and on-line at Observernews.net/.)