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Friday night football forecast

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Games to watch

Largo at Clearwater, 7

Live stream: Fans can watch for free on the identitytb.com

Outlook: Both teams lost their opener and need a win over their rival to avoid an 0-2 start. There is plenty of incentive for the Tornadoes, who have lost three straight in the series. That success gives the Packers some confidence. The key will come down to which offense is more careful with the football. Last week, both teams had critical turnovers that resulted in big momentum swings. .

Pinko’s Pick: Clearwater by 18

Putnam’s prediction: Clearwater 28-20

Which team will win?
Which team will win?
Which team will win?

Pinellas Park at Mitchell, 7:30

Outlook: It all comes down to the run game. The Patriots, who operate out of the wing-T, are proficient with their rushing attack. This is what the Mustangs have to stop. Last year, Mitchell was unable to do it, allowing Pinellas Park to run for more than 400 yards in a win. The Mustangs might be better equipped to do that this year. 

Pinko’s pick: Pinellas Park by 6

Putnam’s prediction: Mitchell 21-20

Which team will win?
Which team will win?
Which team will win?

Clearwater Central Catholic at Wiregrass Ranch, 7:30

Outlook: After meeting in the preseason the past three years, the two teams decided to square off when it counted, mostly because they needed to fill out an empty week on their schedules. The Bulls have the edge in experience, especially with the return of quarterback Rocco Becht, who looked sharp in the season-opening win over St. Petersburg. The Marauders, meanwhile, are going through some growing pains. 

Pinko’s pick: N/A

Putnam’s prediction: Wiregrass Ranch 27-23 

Which team will win?
Which team will win?
Which team will win?

East  Lake at Sunlake, 7:30

Outlook: A matchup between a pair of 0-1 teams trying to get back on track. The Seahawks have to improve in the secondary to win. Last year, Sunlake gave up five touchdowns to Matt Trotto in a loss. Trotto has graduated so the Eagles will turn to a trio of quarterbacks — Jake Bechtel, Mark Brady and Aidan MacLean. 

Pinko’s pick: East Lake by 21

Putnam’s prediction: East Lake 31-14

Which team will win?
Which team will win?
Which team will win?

Hudson at Fivay, 7:30

Outlook: The backyard brawl has been dominated by Fivay the past two years. To reverse that trend, the Cobras will rely on Brian Lindsay, who did a little bit of everything in the season-opening win against Anclote (125 yards rushing and an interception on defense).

Pinko’s pick: Fivay by 20

Putnam’s prediction: Fivay 24-13

Which team will win?
Which team will win?
Which team will win?

The remaining schedule

Bishop McLaughlin at Bronson, 7

Pinko’s pick: Bishop McLaughlin by 14

Putnam’s prediction: Bishop McLaughlin 28-21

Cambridge Christian at Trenton, 7:30

Pinko’s pick: Cambridge Christian by 6

Putnam’s prediction: Cambridge Christian 27-21

Clearwater Academy at Mosley, 7

Pinko’s pick: Clearwater Academy by 14

Putnam’s prediction: Clearwater Academy 31-10

IMG White at St. Petersburg Catholic, 7

Pinko’s pick: IMG White by 21

Putnam’s prediction: St. Petersburg Catholic 28-26

Gulf at Anclote, 7:30

Pinko’s pick: Anclote by 17

Putnam’s prediction: Anclote 30-6

Keswick Christian at Indian Rocks Christian, 7

Pinko’s pick: Indian Rocks Christian by 28

Putnam’s prediction: Keswick Christian 20-17

North Florida Educational at American Collegiate, 7

Pinko’s pick: American Collegiate by 29

Putnam’s prediction: American Collegiate 34-6

Osceola at Countryside, 7

Pinko’s pick: Countryside by 35

Putnam’s prediction: Countryside 38-13

Pasco at Cypress Creek, 7:30

Pinko’s pick: Pasco by 6

Putnam’s prediction: Pasco 14-12

Tarpon Springs at River Ridge, 7:30

Pinko’s pick: River Ridge by 49

Putnam’s prediction: River Ridge 56-7

Robinson at Gibbs, 7

Pinko’s pick: Robinson by 18

Putnam’s prediction: Robinson 31-14

Seffner Christian at Calvary Christian, 7

Pinko’s pick: Seffner Christian by 7

Putnam’s prediction: Calvary Christian 28-21

Strawberry Crest at Lakeland Kathleen, 7:30

Pinko’s pick: Kathleen by 24

Putnam’s prediction: Kathleen 35-7

Tampa Bay Christian at Lakeside Christian, 7

Pinko’s pick: N/A

Putnam’s prediction: Lakeside Christian 27-13

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Baseball

Baseball: Region semifinal recap (7A-5A, 2A)

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Class 7A

For the full playoff bracket click here

Scoreboard

Durant 7, Sarasota Riverview 0

Prime time performers

P Sean Hermann, Sr., Durant: Threw 4 ⅔ scoreless innings, allowing four hits, finishing with six strikeouts and teaming with Alex Canney on a shutout win over Sarasota Riverview. 

C/UTIL Dylan LaPointe, So., Durant: Hit two doubles and had two RBIs and a run scored in a win over Sarasota Riverview. 

C/3B Carlos Morales, Fr., Durant: Went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in a win over Sarasota Riverview. 

Saturday’s region final schedule

Durant vs. Osceola-Lake Nona winner

Class 6A

For the full playoff bracket click here.

Scoreboard

Bloomingdale 2, Mitchell 1

Prime time performers

INF/P Gabe Garrett, Sr., Bloomingdale: Went 2-for-3 with a run scored in a win over Mitchell. 

P/OF Jack Owens, Jr., Bloomingdale: Lasted six innings on the mound, allowing three hits and one earned run while striking out seven in a win over Mitchell. 

Saturday’s region final schedule

Bloomingdale at Naples Gulf Coast, 7

Class 5A

For the full playoff bracket click here.

Scoreboard

Land O’ Lakes 3, Ocala Vanguard 0

Prime time performer

P Brian Holiday, Sr., Land O’ Lakes: Threw a complete-game no-hitter with 20 strikeouts and was 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored in a win over Ocala Vanguard. It was career win No. 600 for Gators coach Calvin Baisley.

May 19 region final schedule

Land O’ Lakes at Jefferson, 7

Class 2A

For the full playoff bracket click here

Scoreboard

Seffner Christian 11, Winter Haven All Saints’ Academy 2

Bishop McLaughlin 4, Northside Christian 3 (10 innings)

Prime time performers

OF/P Andrew Duncan, So., Bishop McLaughlin: Powered the Hurricanes’ offense by going 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs in a win over Northside Christian.

C Andrew Ura, Sr., Seffner Christian: Hit a grand slam that ignited the offense in a win over Winter Haven All Saints’ Academy. 

Saturday’s region final schedule  

Seffner Christian at Mount Dora Christian, 7

Bishop McLaughlin at Sarasota Out-of-Door, 7

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General

CCC’s Stephen Shepherd leaves to take over at PHU

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Stephen Shepherd, who coached Clearwater Central Catholic’s volleyball team for 11 seasons and led the program to the Class 3A state title in 2014, has stepped down to take over at Palm Harbor University. 

Shepherd, a teacher at Clearwater Fundamental, resigned last week. He said the move was a family decision. 

“My daughter is in sixth grade, and is a very good player,” Shepherd said. “She has dreamed of playing for me since she was 3 and was in our regional and state championship pictures. 

“I, however, am a teacher, and I’m unable to afford the tuition at CCC.  So it became about our family for me.  I didn’t want to miss her high school career while I’m coaching somewhere else.”

With the Marauders, Shepherd was 232-84 with six district titles, three region titles and a state title. Last season, CCC went 18-6 and lost to Carrollwood Day in the 3A region quarterfinals. 

This is the second high-profile coach the Marauders have lost in the past week. CCC baseball coach Todd Vaughan already announced he was stepping down after 33 seasons. .

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Baseball

Baseball: Wednesday’s region semifinal breakdown (7A-6A, 2A)

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The baseball playoffs continue Wednesday with region semifinal games in Classes 7A-6A and 2A. Admission is $7. Here is the schedule with outlooks for each area game, as well as team leaders for each matchup.

Class 7A

Durant (20-5) at Sarasota Riverview (19-9), 7

This is a rematch from the 7A-8 district final the Rams won 10-0 two weeks ago. In that game, the Cougars were unable to use ace Sean Hermann, who threw in the district semifinals. Hermann will be back on the mound and likely will be squaring off against Sarasota Riverview’s Karson Ligon or Pip Smalley in what could be a pitcher’s duel.  

Team leaders

CategoryDurantSarasota Riverview
Batting averageAustin Sewell .400Pip Smalley .425
RBIsDylan LaPointe 20Clay Russin 22
Home runsLuke Scolaro 2Four players tied with two
ERASean Hermann 0.45Pip Smalley 0.33
StrikeoutsSean Hermann 114Karson Ligon 61

Class 6A

Mitchell (22-6) at Bloomingdale (20-6), 7

The Mustangs, ranked No. 6 in the classification by MaxPreps, enter on a five-game win streak, including three victories by double digits. The Bulls have won three straight and 11 of their last 12. Their success is due in part to finding ways to pull through in close games. Bloomingdale is 3-1 in games decided by a run during this recent stretch. 

Team leaders

CategoryMitchellBloomingdale
Batting averageAidan Miller .415Colby Shelton .409
RBIsAidan Miller 22Marlon Bowen 22
Home runsAidan Miller 4Colby Shelton 5
ERAJames Hill 0.64Jack Owens 0.89
StrikeoutsAshton Crowther 62David Eckaus 80

Class 2A

Bishop McLaughlin (19-7) at Northside Christian (15-12), 7

The visiting Hurricanes, winners of eight straight, are playing their best baseball of the season. Pitching and defense has been the key. Bishop McLaughin has posted three straight shutouts and allowed a combined five runs in their last six games. After a 2-4 stretch late in the regular season, the Mustangs have turned things around, winning five straight. Three of those victories were by a combined five runs. 

Team leaders

CategoryBishop McLaughlinNorthside Christian
Batting averageAugie Mojica .409Andrew Williamson .402
RBIsAndrew Duncan, Drew Knight 15Jake Cappock, Ryan Cerrone 17
Home runsNicholas Cucchi, Drew Knight 1Four players tied with 2
ERAEthan Burkhardt 1.35Shane McClanahan 2.85
StrikeoutsTanner Boccabello 55Robert Kocis 38

Winter Haven All Saints’ (16-7) at Seffner Christian (18-4), 4

This is a rematch of the 2A-8 district final the host Crusaders won 14-4 in five innings two weeks ago. In that game, Seffner Christian’s Andrew Ura went 4-for-4 with two doubles and five RBIs and teammate Spencer Boynton hit two doubles and scored two runs. 

Team leaders

CategoryAll Saints’ Seffner Christian
Batting averageRiley Kelton .456Dylan Cheeley .416
RBIsSteele Polin 24Dylan Cheeley, Connor Loomis 18
Home runsBrock Thielen 1Spencer Boynton 2
ERALucas Perez 1.43Ben Cheek 0.25
StrikeoutsLucas Perez 158Joey Jensen 75

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