Spring Hill: Last Unbeaten

WESLEY CHAPEL – Spring Hill continued to impress Friday night, maintaining its unblemished record in the Seniors Boys (age 14) All-Stars District 6 Tournament Friday night at Wesley Chapel District Park.

Spring Hill downed Hernando, 13-3 in six innings, in a meeting of two county teams who were the last undefeated clubs in the seven-team double-elimination tournament.

Spring Hill (3-0) had defeated Wildwood the night before, 12-1 in five innings, after topping Sumter on Wednesday, 8-6. On Thursday Hernando (1-1) downed Oak Griner, 9-3, in its tournament opener.

“If we get going, we’re going to be dangerous,” Spring Hill Head Coach Mike Sollazzo said. “If we get it going we’re going to be tough to beat.

“I really don’t think we’re going full steam. I think the kids are still thinking they’re great. And they are good. But every game we’ve started slow. We’ve got to pick it up a little.”

Two-out rally

After Hernando recorded two quick outs in the top of the first, Spring Hill pieced together a rally to go ahead 2-0.

Julian Perez’s infield single to third preceded a solid double to left-center off the bat of Louis Colaiacomo. Ian Townsend followed by lining a RBI single to right.

Colaiacomo came across on a wild pitch, though Townsend was tagged out trying to sneak home on the same play.

Hernando got one back in the bottom half when Brandon Gemmiti scored on a two-out wild pitch. However, Perez scored on Townsend’s sacrifice fly in the third to restore the two-run advantage.

Kyle Jensen, pinch running for Cody Singer, came in on a wild pitch in the bottom of the third to cut it back to one.

In Spring Hill’s half of the fourth, Jon Gaffney doubled to left leading off and scored on Joey Asquith’s single that fell in front of the diving centerfielder.

J.T. Simpson’s infield single deep in the hole to shortstop drove in Anthony Fiocca, who walked, to make it 5-2.

With the bases still loaded, none out and the middle of the order coming up, Hernando pitcher Tyler Bammert wiggled out of further trouble with a strikeout, a force at home and a groundout.

Thomas Tambasco added a solo leadoff home run to left field in the top of the sixth.

Perez plated another on a single up the middle, Townsend notched his third RBI on a double to right, Gaffney had a RBI groundout and Townsend scored on a wild pitch.

Spring Hill would eventually send 12 batters to the plate, going in front by double figures on Simpson’s three-run double to left-center.

Hernando scratched across a run in the bottom of the inning as Matt Singer singled and scored on an error, but couldn’t get a runner home from third with two outs to avoid the mercy rule.

“Bammert pitched a heck of a game for Hernando,” Sollazzo said. “He’s definitely maturing. I’d love to have him on my team.

“The kids did peck away. We gave them their two runs (in the first). They have a good team. I’m a little deeper and basically that’s what won it.”

The win advanced Spring Hill to a game Saturday against Sumter, while Hernando had an elimination game with Oak Griner.

“It was a good ballgame, a tough ballgame,” Hernando Head Coach Bubba Patterson said. “It’s just a matter of a hit there, I don’t think we made any errors, they were just dropping. Give Spring Hill credit. That’s a good team. A lot of good talent on that team.

“I think Tyler Bammert did well. It was a close ballgame. I told the boys some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you. Today the bear got us.”

Sports writer Chris Bernhardt Jr. can be reached at (352) 544-5288 or [email protected]

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