TAMPA- With multiple division 1 commits on the Alonso Ravens, the recently ranked 18 in the nation by Maxpreps.com, Steinbrenner was not expected to be a large threat coming into their nest.
But with senior Andrew Lindsay on the mound with a strong offense and defense behind him, Alonso and company did not stand much of a chance against a hot Warriors squad.
With usual starting catcher Chase DeBonis on the injured list along with Ryan Russell, players had to step up to the plate. This gave room to Drew Burkhart, the starting right fielder to make some big plays. In the bottom of the second inning with a tied game at zero, a ball hit in the gap between first and second found its way into the glove of Burkhart. With Raven Jared DeSantolo rounding third after claiming second on a steal after a walk to first, Burkhart knew he had to make a big play.
And so he did, throwing a laser to catcher Nicholas Alessi who made the big tag at home blocking the plate as if he does it every time he touches the ball. A perfect throw, a perfect block, and a perfect tag kept the game scoreless and the Warriors motivated and fired up to take an early game lead.
“I don’t know why they sent the runner because it was hit shallow and I wasn’t expecting to throw it home but I did. I just needed to do what I know how to do and throw it home,” said Burkhart.
Brandon Johnson led off the top of the third inning smacking a ball to left field. Then stealing second, Burkhart stepped up for his first at-bat and took a ball for a ride sending it to left center field scoring Johnson and thus giving them a 1-0 lead.
“Coach [Coach John Crumbley] told me I needed to be a better third hole hitter and get more RBI’s and that’s what I did,” said Burkhart.
The Warriors went on to increase their lead to two thanks to a double by Lindsay. The next inning, the Warriors put up five more runs, two of which coming from Burkhart on a ball sent by the first baseman down the line.
Andrew Lindsay finished up the fifth inning and ended with four stike outs, walking five, and allowing only four hits. Al Alberger came in as relief, pitching a quick sixth inning and retiring the seventh inning side for a save. He struck out two batters giving up no hits and no walks. The Warriors won 7-0 and look forward to host Sickles for a district match at home.
“I can always improve but I feel like I did well tonight. I was locating better and making sure I had my pitches down,” said Lindsay.
Written by Evan Abramson/Online Sports Editor