Written by Jim Brockman on March 7, 2014 | Herald-Tribune
Unbeaten Sarasota hold off Mustangs
LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. – Brandon Chapman delivered a key two-run double in the decisive sixth inning as Sarasota High kept its record unblemished.
The catcher and cleanup hitter for the Sailors (7-0) collected a pair of doubles and drove in a third run with a sacrifice fly as Sarasota outlasted host Lakewood Ranch High, 7-5, on a windy Friday night with temperatures dipping into the 50s.
With the game tied 2-2 entering the sixth, a throwing error on Mustangs (5-4) southpaw starting pitcher Colton Chupp opened the door for the Sailors.
After Sarasota’s Skylar Frey struck out looking and first baseman Mason Dancer singled, designated hitter Cody Brickhouse laid down a bunt in front of home plate. Chupp and Mustangs catcher Matt Roberts both acted as if they thought the other would field the ball.
Chupp finally picked it up and threw wildly to first base, allowing Dancer to score all the way from first base to give Sarasota a 3-2 lead. Right-hander George Corbitt came on in relief of Chupp following Brickhouse’s bunt. After an intentional walk to Sarasota leadoff hitter Tyler Leonard, center fielder Zach McMullen also drew a walk to load the bases. Corbitt then walked third baseman Dylan Busby to force in a run.
Chapman’s second double of the game scored both McMullen and Busby to give the Sailors a 6-2 lead.
Sarasota made it 7-2 in the top of the seventh inning on a single by Frey, a double by Dancer and an RBI single by Brickhouse.
However, the Mustangs pushed across three runs in the bottom of the seventh to make things interesting. Roberts led off the seventh with a single and shortstop Justin Greenaway reached on an error. Chupp singled home Roberts before leadoff hitter Justin Otis smacked a two-run single to make it 7-5.
Sarasota relief pitcher Evan Mendoza, who started the game at shortstop, then ended the game in dramatic fashion by picking Otis off first base for the final out.
“Evan has a pretty good move to first, especially for a right-hander,” veteran Sarasota coach Clyde Metcalf said. “He’s done this before.”
Mendoza pitched three innings of relief, striking out the side in his first inning of work. He also had a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth.
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