Terrapins fight to claim district win over Crusaders
|Tampa Prep junior Owen Fulton connects on a fifth-inning two run home run to tie the game. The Terrapins would win 5-4 over district opponent Tampa Catholic, while Fulton finished 2-for-3 in the win.|
TAMPA – It was almost a shame for the dogfight that was Tuesday’s Class 4A-District 4 meeting between Tampa Catholic and Tampa Prep to have ended when a ball bounced off a Crusaders defender’s glove and allowed the Terrapins to score the 5-4, walk-off run from second base.
With the game tied at four, junior Lucas Harmon started off the home seventh picking out a 1-0 fastball and bashing it off the netting in right field. Harmon, who was 2-for-4 in the win, charged to third on a Charlie Vari ground ball to shortstop and just never stopped, scoring the deciding run – his second score of the game - as the ball deflected off the Crusaders defender.
“I was going all the way, and when I saw it get by him, I was just going to keep going,” Harmon said. “I was excited and wanted to win this game. When I stepped to the plate in that inning, I was looking to be aggressive and get on base, and I kept that going.”
Sophomore MJ Budnick got things going offensively in the second inning for the Crusaders, belting his first home run of the year to right-center putting Tampa Catholic on the board.
|Crusaders sophomore MJ Budnick is chased home by his teammates after connecting on a solo home run in the second inning.|
Tampa Catholic (4-6, 2-3 in 4A-4) countered back, as Tony Watson showed off his speed cruising in with an RBI triple in the third, then scoring on a single from Kian Knutson (2-for-4).
|Crusaders junior Tony Watson breaks out of the box|
with an RBI triple in the third inning.
Tampa Prep finally and ultimately swung the momentum back in the home team’s direction when Owen Fulton picked up his second hit of the game, and just his third hit of the season, smashing a two-run home run to right to tie it up.
“I’ve been struggling at the plate so far,” Fulton said. “It was good to get going with the first one (home run of the season) and a breakthrough game.”
|Terrapins catcher Charlie Vari gets prepped to make a tag at |
the plate after recieving a dart from Griffin Ravo in center.
“That felt so good,” Ravo said. “I knew if he hit it to me, I had to go back on the ball and come through it. I was ready for it and I knew I had to make it happen.”
The Crusaders got a workhorse effort on the hill from starting pitcher Ryan Gonzalez, who allowed four runs (three earned) in six innings of work, striking out eight and earning a no decision.
|Tampa Catholic starting pitcher Ryan Gonzalez|
|Tampa Prep senior Gilbert Marquis earned the win in relief.|
“The energy for us was through the roof,” Ravo said. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen that from us, and I hope that we continue to show up with that from here on out, because that’s what we’ll need to win games.”