Zephyrhills Free Press

Pirates Break Bulldogs’ Hold

ZHS Gives It Up To Pasco In The Last Inning 

After holding a 2-0 lead through five innings behind the strong pitching of Mark Santiago, Zephyrhills relief pitchers could not close out Pasco giving up 10 runs in the final two innings.

Santiago gave up just one hit in five innings striking out five. Pasco tied the game in the sixth and broke it open in the seventh with eight more runs. Sadly for the Bulldogs, of the 10 runs given up, just three were earned. Sophomore Maddox Rivera was saddled with the loss.

Swinging the bats wasn’t a struggle as Zephyrhills picked up six hits off of Pasco’s pitching with Maddox Rivera going 2-for-2 and brother Jaxson Rivera scoring both runs. The Rivera brothers add three stolen bases.

Aside from the relief pitching, errors cost the Bulldogs late in the game as they committed four miscues in the final two innings.

Santiago’s pitching kept the Pirates off balance for five innings. The sophomore left-hander allowed just two base runners and faced 18 batters in five innings. The Bulldog relievers faced 20 in two innings.

“He threw the ball well,” said Zephyrhills coach Rusty Guynn. “We just don’t do anything. We have to throw strikes. We have to catch fly balls. We let base hits roll right by us and it turns into a double and two runs.”

With a team loaded with nothing but underclassmen, Guynn knows the road to success is a long one.

“We have a long ways to go,” Guynn said. “We may not get there. Pasco has a good team and they did well.”

Pasco coach Ricky Giles was proud of his team for hanging in there in order to take advantage of the late game rally.

“We kind of hung in there, but Santiago had us stalemated for awhile,” Giles said. “We couldn’t capitalize on the big guy. He was pretty tough to keep us offset. When you have guys come in and not throw strikes, things can get ugly. It would have been a different story if their big guy stayed in there. They would have beaten us.”

Zephyrhills suffered its fourth straight loss and fall to 2-5 on the season and the Pirates improve to 4-3.

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