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Monday, Mar 30, 2015

Flowers blooms as HHS blanks Fivay

Hernando Today correspondent


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BROOKSVILLE - Two well-pitched games dominated Tuesday's opening round of the Pasco-Hernando Farm Bureau Insurance Baseball Classic at Hernando High's Emerson Field.

In the nightcap, unheralded Hernando senior southpaw David Flowers spun a three-hit shutout against Fivay, 7-0.

In the process, Flowers (4-1) out-dueled Fivay senior Sean Fluke.

Fluke entered Brooksville with staggering mound stats. Across 35 innings pitched, Fluke had fanned 51 batters while permitting four walks.

Fluke (5-1) faced 23 Leopard (12-1) batters across five innings before being yanked by second-year skipper Matt Hayes.

Fluke was tagged for seven runs (five earned) on six hits and one walk against seven strikeouts before being replaced by Joel Crumpton.

On the flip side, Flowers blossomed limiting Fivay (7-5) to a 3-for-23 effort (.130 batting average) with three singles and one walk against seven strikeouts.

FHS hurt itself with a game-high four errors.

For its part, HHS converted 36-of-37 chances with the leather, plus a passed ball.

Defensively, the Leopards picked off three runners from first base (Cody Manion and Charlie Simmens in the second inning, and Wyatt Bracewell in the third).

Flowers picked off the last two Falcon runners after catcher Austin Treverton picked off Manion, who was straying too far off the bag.

Two other Leopard defensive gems included first sacker Brenden Litwinsky robbing Manion of a shot down the first-base line on an unassisted putout and left fielder Tyler Allen diving to take away a Christian Brown sinking liner in the seventh.

Offensively, Hernando won its sixth straight game by lashing a game-high six hits as juniors Tyler Bammert and Justin Young each cracked two safeties.

HHS snapped a scoreless deadlock in the fourth with three runs.

Senior Kyle Kilbourne's fielder's choice plated courtesy runner Garrett Sims, 1-0.

FHS unraveled with three straight errors allowing Kilbourne and Andres Cabrera to score two unearned runs.

Ahead 3-0, Young helped turn out the lights on the Falcons with his first homer of the season.

Young deposited a 0-2 Fluke offering over the right-center field fence with one out in the bottom of the fifth for a grand slam and his team-leading 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th runs batted in.

There was plenty to celebrate from the Hernando dugout.

"The shutout feels nice," pointed out the 17-year-old Flowers. "The three pickoffs quieted them down and Justin's homer was great slump-buster. A win like this keeps our momentum going."

Bammert, who came in hitting .235, finished 2-for-3.

"I thought I saw the ball real well tonight," detailed the 17-year-old Bammert. "But I'm not the story, David (Flowers) was phenomenal - he was pounding the strike zone all night."

On the game's difference, "Justin's homer was huge, but the pickoffs kept them off the scoreboard and gave us confidence," added Bammert.

On the pickoffs, "You play like you practice. And we practice pickoffs all the time," explained the 17-year-old Young. "After we threw out their first three runners, they just didn't know when they could go."

There was no denying a smile recalling his grand slam.

"Yeah, on the swing, I knew it was gone. It was a 0-2 count, so I shortened up on my swing and I lifted it deep," pointed out Young.

Young gave a game ball to Flowers.

"David (Flowers) came out and showed what he can do," remarked Young. "He's been doing it all year."

Coach Hayes didn't blow a gasket after the game, but was frustrated with the team's sloppy defense and poor base-running.

"When your first three guys to get hits all get picked off that totally took us out of our game," said Hayes. "We can deal with the physical mistakes, those are going to happen, but we can't have the mental mistakes - those are unacceptable."

On Flowers, "I was very impressed," he said. "Obviously, he's got a great move to first."

On where the Falcons go from here, "Hernando's a good team. I think because we had Fluke going, out guys kind of thought 'We got this,'" said Hayes. "I'd give us a D+ tonight. There were too many mental mistakes."

HHS' veteran skipper Tim Sims initially praised his defense.

"The pickoffs were all Flowers' doing," Sims said. "He's worked his tail off. He wasn't trying to fool anybody. He's quietly gone about his business all season. He was the hard-luck loser against Citrus (1-0), otherwise he might be unbeaten.

"Defensively, we made some plays, but Austin (Treverton) set the tone back there. He had a great game behind the plate," added Sims.

On Young's grand slam, "Tonight, he allowed the game to come to him. We've been stressing to him to relax at the plate," noted Sims. "You saw what happens when he does. That's the tempo he needs to play at."

? ? ?

In the opener, Land O' Lakes junior right-hander Tommy Guglielmello may have earned a new nickname, "Tommy Gun."

In his varsity debut on the mound, the 6-foot-2 Guglielmello handcuffed a short-handed Nature Coast Technical lineup minus three starters (Jeff Misener, Chris Lake and Jarred Burns - for undisclosed reasons) to four singles across seven innings for a stunning complete-game, 5-0 shutout.

Guglielmello (1-0) faced 26 batters, permitting two walks against a game-high eight strikeouts.

NCT (6-6), who had arrived red-hot, winners of four in a row, had only 10 players in uniform. Only Shark catcher John Peloro managed to reach on two singles.

Land O' Lakes (7-5), which arrived losers of three straight and four of five, rapped a game-high 10 hits off NCT's Matt Tormey (0-3).

Juniors Connor Stephens, Ben Moultrie and Dylan Leonard paced the Gators with two hits apiece.

Senior designated hitter Liam Heaney drove in three runs including two with a two-run single to left in the fifth.

In the first frame, Heaney drove in Stephens on a fielder's choice before freshman Max Law clubbed a RBI double to right-center, 2-0.

LO'L padded the lead when Moultrie singled with two outs in the fourth and scored moments later on a ringing RBI double to right-center.

Hernando faces Land O' Lakes Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Emerson Field. Nature Coast plays Fivay at 4 p.m.

Land O' Lakes 5, Nature Coast Technical 0

123 456 7 R H E

NCT 000 000 0 - 0 4 1

LOL 200 120 X - 5 10 0

LOL - Guglielmello and Hilgenberg.

NCT - Tormey and Peloro.

W - Guglielmello (1-0). L - Tormey (0-3).

2B - LOL: Law, Leonard.

3B - LOL: Law.

Records - Land O' Lakes (7-5), Nature Coast Technical (6-6).

Hernando 7, Fivay 0

123 456 7 R H E

FIV 000 000 0 - 0 3 4

HER 000 340 x - 7 6 1

FIV - Fluke, Crumpton (6) and Brown.

HER - Flowers and Treverton.

W - Flowers (4-1). L - Fluke (5-1).

2B - HER: Treverton.

HR - HER: Young .

Records - Fivay (7-5), Hernando (12-1).

Pasco-Hernando Farm Bureau Insurance Baseball Classic


at Sunlake

Sunlake 6, Wesley Chapel 5

Ridgewood vs. Pasco, ppd. till Wednesday at 2 p.m.

at Hernando

Hernando 7, Fivay 0

Land O' Lakes 5, Nature Coast Technical 0

at Central

Central 6, Gulf 0

Bishop McLaughlin 3, Mitchell 2

at Weeki Wachee

Wiregrass Ranch 14, Weeki Wachee 1 (5 Inns.)

Springstead 12, Zephyrhills 1


at Hernando

Nature Coast vs. Fivay, 4 p.m.

Hernando vs. Land O' Lakes, 7 p.m.

at Central

Gulf vs. Mitchell, 4 p.m.

Central vs. Bishop McLaughlin, 7 p.m.

at Weeki Wachee

Weeki Wachee vs. Zephyrhills, 4 p.m.

Wiregrass Ranch vs. Springstead, 7 p.m.

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