High School Sports

Falcons roll over Noles

BRADENTON - Southeast High baseball coach Phil Olson gave his players a little advice Wednesday night before they took the diamond against Saint Stephen's.

"Don't make mental mistakes, and don't compound your errors, and play hard, OK," Olson said.

Great advice, but little results.

The Falcons (3-0) put the game out of reach by the time it was their turn to play defense. When Southeast's Steven Suchy, the Seminoles' lead-off hitter, stepped to the plate, the scoreboard in right field read 4-0.

Tough way to start off an inning.

By the time it was over in the fifth, the scoreboard read 14-0 in Saint Stephen's favor.

The Falcons had 15 hits, and three Saint Stephen's players registered three-hit performances.

Johnny Lingo went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and five RBIs, Michael Cass batted 3-for-4 with two doubles, and Kyle Cross went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

"Last year, I thought we were a pretty good offensive ballclub, and we lost two kids from that team," Falcons coach Mike LaValliere said.

"I'm optimistic. When you swing the bats, you take pressure off of the pitching and defense."

Falcons pitcher Garrett Gregory had a pretty relaxed night, as he pitched a complete game and gave up two hits.

No pressure, huh.

Of his three-run shot in the fourth, Lingo said the ball looked about the size of a grapefruit.

"I thought I hit it pretty well," Lingo said. "I put my head down and when I looked up, it was gone."

The Seminoles were winless last year and are 0-3 this season, but Olson said his team is slowly moving in the right direction, but they must be more assertive.

"We are not being aggressive hitting the ball or fielding it," Olson said. "It's like we are scared to make mistakes. You can't be afraid to make mistakes, they are going to happen, but you can't be tentative."

Olson said the Seminoles are young and inexperienced, but he wants them to steadily improve throughout the season.

"The prize for the baseball season is at the end of the year when districts start," he said. "It matters what we do in the regular season, so everything we do in the regular season gets us prepared for the end of the year."

On Tuesday night, Saint Stephen's defeated Indian Rocks Christian 17-1 and racked up 19 hits. LaValliere said before Wednesday's game he was worried his team would go cold.

After the game, LaValliere let out a sigh of relief.

"It's easy on the coach's blood pressure when we get a bunch of runs," he said.

Saint Stephen's 402 44 - 14 15 0

Southeast 000 00 - 0 2 3

WP - Garrett Gregory. LP - Philip Dimaria. 2B - Cass 2, Gregory, Lingo (Saint Stephen's). HR - Lingo (Saint Stephen's). Team records: Saint Stephen's 3-0, Southeast 0-3.

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