BROOKSVILLE - Central southpaw Trevor McKenna literally turned out the lights on Springstead's title hopes Wednesday at Bears Park.
McKenna, twirled a complete-game, 83-pitch, three-hit shutout in the third round of the Pasco-Hernando Farm Bureau Insurance Baseball Classic against the Eagles, 3-0.
The Bears' sixth straight win permits Central (11-5) to host Friday night's tourney final against Pasco, at 7 p.m.
At Sunlake, the Pirates squeaked past Hernando, 2-1, to earn the title-game berth.
The loss snapped Springstead's (7-6) season-high five-game win skein.
McKenna, a Lake Sumter State College signee, climbed to 5-1, scattering three singles and three walks against five strikeouts.
The game's only offense was generated courtesy of a four-run third inning off Eagle sophomore southpaw Noah Siem.
The rally was ignited by of all things a quiet one-out walk to the No. 9 hitter, junior Zach Sorrentino.
C.J. Martinez followed with a single before both runners advanced on stolen bases. CHS successfully stole four of its seven attempts, including third base twice.
Junior Matt Clark, who reached on three walks, coaxed his second free pass.
A rattled Siem (0-1) wild pitched home one run and was victimized by a two-run double by junior Thomas Sorrentino and an ensuing RBI single by junior Scott Dwyer.
The game that began a half hour late due the length of the first game was halted for 32 minutes in the bottom of the fourth when two light poles went dead along the third-base line.
When play resumed, SHS right-hander Will Pagan replaced Siem after three innings and responded with three innings of one-hit relief to keep the game close.
The postgame discussion centered on Central's rally in the bottom of the third.
"My walk was kind of a game-changer," explained Zach Sorrentino. "It was a big deal because the pitcher started pressing."
On the significance of the win, "This shows we're ready to play," responded Sorrentino. "I thought Trevor threw a great game. He showed everybody what he's made of."
Thomas Sorrentino, who entered the game behind a scalding .489 batting average, rewound the moment of his key two-bagger.
"I wasn't trying to mash, I was trying to hit the ball where it was pitched," he said.
Thomas Sorrentino also praised McKenna for his stellar efforts.
"He really did pitch a great game. He did a great job of pounding the (strike) zone," added Thomas Sorrentino. "This (win) is great because we all want to beat Pasco tomorrow."
"At the end (of the game), after the lights went out, it was a long wait. I could feel it (energy) slipping," declared the 17-year-old McKenna. "But I thought I persevered. I gave it 100 percent out there."
On the game's difference, "There's no doubt that the walk to Zach was huge. The guys started to get him (Siem) rattled," admitted McKenna. "I know it's not a district game, but Springstead is always a big rival and it's nice to beat those guys."
Central skipper Al Sorrentino echoed his player's sentiments on the keys to the game.
"We've batted Zach in the No. 2 hole early in the season and moved him around. This week, I dropped him down to the No. 9 hole and he's responded. Last night, he knocked in two big runs," admitted the proud papa. "He seems more relaxed at the plate. His walk certainly started things for us."
On McKenna, "I went out there in the seventh and he said he was OK, but in my book he had two more batters before we pulled the plug," said Coach Sorrentino. "He threw 83 pitches, plus the 12 after that half-hour delay. I thought he really bore down when he needed to."
In facing the challenge of visiting Pasco, "We're going to go out and have some fun," Coach Sorrentino said. "This is a great opportunity for our seniors to put their names on a trophy. I'd rather beat Pasco in a district game, but I'll take every win we can get."
In Thursday's early game, Wiregrass Ranch walked away with its second tourney win by topping Bishop McLaughlin, 8-4.
SPG - Siem, Pagan (4) and Brosher.
CEN - McKenna and Shiver.
W - McKenna (5-1) (0-0). L - Siem (0-1).
Records - Springstead (7-6), Central (11-5).
Pasco-Hernando Farm Bureau Insurance Baseball Classic
Land O' Lakes 5, Nature Coast Technical 0
Sunlake 6, Wesley Chapel 5
Bishop McLaughlin 3, Mitchell 2
Wiregrass Ranch 14, Weeki Wachee 1 (5)
Springstead 12, Zephyrhills 1
Nature Coast Technical 7, Fivay 2
Hernando 3, Land O' Lakes 0
Central 6, Bishop McLaughlin 2
Weeki Wachee 8, Zephyrhills 6
Springstead 3,Wiregrass Ranch 2
Wesley Chapel 3, Nature Coast 1
Mitchell 11, Weeki Wachee 0
Wiregrass Ranch 8, Bishop McLaughlin 4
Land O' Lakes 6, Sunlake 4