Central wins 5A-7 District Championship
By: Danny Aiello Jr
Even though both Central and Wesley Chapel had regional berths locked up, there was a district title and home field advantage at stake Friday at the Bears’ Den in Brooksville.
When the dust had settled, tournament-host Central emerged as the 5A-7 champions, with their 14-6 win over Wesley Chapel.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead behind RBI’s from Colton Bierly, Jovani Diaz and KJ Bierly.
Wesley Chapel starter Chris Ryan, who was perfect through four innings, got into a sticky situation in the top of the fifth, when Central loaded the bases with nobody out.
Justin Chevalier would rip an RBI single, before Pedro Pantaleon would deliver a bases-clearing pinch-hit double putting Central up 4-3.
After Ryan exited, Aaron Hoyte came in for Wesley Chapel, but couldn’t record an out before walking Zach Sorrentino and allowing a two-run single to Thomas Sorrentino extending the Bears lead to 7-3.
By the time the top of the fifth was over, it was 11-3 in favor of the Bears who sent 15 batters to the plate.
With a close game turned into a laugher, Wesley Chapel would score three more runs, cutting it to 11-6, before the Bears tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the sixth, making it 14-6.
When Scott Dwyer recorded the final out, the dugout exploded as Central won their first district title since 2002.
Up next for the Bears is a home regional quarterfinal, as they host 5A-8 runner-up Dunedin.