SARASOTA -- In weather that at times seemed more suited for the Iditarod, the Lakewood Ranch baseball team did what it had to do, which was to survive.
The Mustangs outlasted Miami Dade Christian 15-8 on Tuesday in a near three-hour contest to remain unbeaten after two games in the Red Bracket of the Sarasota Baseball Classic.
The windy, near frigid conditions at Sarasota High made the ball do tricks in the air, which might have accounted in part for eight errors (four by each team).
Lakewood Ranch (8-7) exploded for 10 runs in the second inning when it sent 14 batters to the plate to take a 12-0 lead and appeared headed for a 10-run, mercy-rule victory. But Dade Christian won't fold, and the Mustangs made some costly errors to allow the Dade County school to stay in the game.
Andrew Giddens sparked Ranch's big inning with a three-run triple and went 2-for-5 with a double to go along with his triple and six RBIs. Brandon Lam had a two-run single in the inning.
Lakewood Ranch is 2-0 in its four-team pool with a game at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday against Eagle's View Academy at the Buck O'Neil Complex.
For the game, Cameron Pearcey was 3-for-5 with an RBI and scored two runs, and Garrett Schultz was 2-for-4. The Mustangs scored twice in the first when Giddens got two RBIs on a sacrifice fly that was misplayed after the catch. Justin Green
away, who doubled, scored one of the runs.
"Andrew did a great job," Lakewood Ranch head coach Ryan Kennedy said. "He got in the hitter's counts (2-0 and 2-1) -- hot-zone counts is what we call them -- and I told these guys be aggressive when there is a hot zone count, and he jumped on that fastball (for the triple), and the rest is history. He is a competitor and works hard every day."
Giddens hadn't caught in a couple of games because of an injury, but went the distance behind the plate and looked strong, though he said his legs were a little weary at the end.
"It was a just a meatball right down the middle, and I took advantage of it," Giddens said of the triple. "I wasn't trying to hit it out, but it went my way. My legs were getting a little heavy at the end, but I will be better. "
The Mustangs used three pitchers, but the last one, Jorge Corbitt, pitched only one inning and retired the side in order with two strikeouts.
Kevin Leon picked up his first win of the season without a loss. He entered the game in the fourth and went three innings. The senior did not allow an earned run, struck out three and did not walk a batter.
Joey Ambrosino started for the Mustangs and went three innings. He was tagged for six hits, allowed four earned runs, walked two and struck out three.
"We would like to win this tournament and will come out each day and focus on this next one," Kennedy said. "We still have some guys in the 'pen that we can in use in Brad Zunica and Scott Stout as our starters, so we are still in good shape with our pitching. We had a lot of errors, and the wind definitely was a factor, especially when you get the ball up in the air.
"You've got to understand what the wind is doing, but it's one of things where once you make the errors, you've got to continue to scratch runs across and we were able to do that."