TBO Prep Sports Brandon
Baseball: Brandon hangs on to defeat Plant, 6-5
TAMPA - His team had just earned another win in district play and on the road in a tough environment, but Brandon baseball coach Matt Stallbaumer was far from ecstatic. Walking off Wade Boggs Field on Friday night with a 6-5 win over Plant was a positive, but not the manner in which it occurred. After breaking the game open with a three-run seventh, Brandon had to stave off a furious rally by the Panthers, who had the bases loaded when the game ended. "I told our guys, we're 5-0 right now, but I don't know if we've done everything the way we want to and I hope we're not content with continuing to hang on and walk out," Stallbaumer said. "Yeah, in the paper it might say we won, but are we doing the things that we need to be doing to make us better down the road?" Brandon took advantage of two walks, a hit batter and an error to push three runs across in the seventh with just one hit, that a sharply hit ball by Roderick Shoulders that went off the glove of Plant's first baseman for a two-run single. That gave the Eagles a 6-2 lead, but the Panthers (2-2) didn't go down without a fight.Stan Rowe laced a two-run double off the center-field wall with two outs to make it 6-4, and Joe Hudek (2-for-3, two runs) brought another run home with a single. Eagles reliever Chase Sparkman finally settled down to end the game with a strikeout. "It's two games in a row we've battled back and had the tying or winning runs at the plate or in scoring position, and with a young team that's nice to see," Panthers coach Dennis Braun said. "Both games we've talked about we've given up a big inning, and from Day 1 we've stressed that if we get rid of those big innings then we'll be fine."