WESLEY CHAPEL — Sickles coach Bob Pagano doesn’t have an ace on his pitching staff. He has three good arms, one of them being junior Troy Bacon, a Florida commit.
“I don’t like to call any of them an ace, but Troy’s really matured in his junior year,” Pagano said.
Bacon showed that with a complete-game, five-hit shutout as the Gryphons (10-5, 3-3) defeated Class 7A-District 8 foe Wiregrass Ranch 2-0 on Friday evening. Bacon (3-1) fanned seven and walked one in the 77-pitch performance.
“He was in total command tonight,” Pagano said. “He was very calm out there, and we can pitch, we just need to hit the ball now (laughs).”
Sickles, which lost to the Bulls 4-2 in February, only scored in the fifth when Xavier Rodriguez drove in two on an infield single.
“It was a perfect hit and run,” Pagano said.
Ryan Girard took the mound for Wiregrass (10-4, 4-2) and pitched six innings, giving up four hits and striking out five, though the two runs allowed were unearned because of an error.
The Bulls had chances to score in the third when they had runners at the corners, but junior Austin Drury stranded them, and in the fourth when Logan Place tried to drive in Devin Duckett from second, but he was out by a several feet on a play at the plate.
Wiregrass has lost two in a row for the first time this season, but the Bulls did defeat Steinbrenner 12-2 on Tuesday. Yet Pagano feels 7A-8 is a four-team race with Gaither included, as well.
“I wouldn’t count any of those four teams out,” Pagano added. “All of us have our strengths and weaknesses.”