It's usually tough for a freshman to make a varsity roster and make a major contribution. It's even tougher when your father is the coach.
But Trey Dudley-Giles is making the most of his first varsity season and got the biggest hit of his young career Monday at Sunlake. Dudley-Giles ripped a triple down the right-field line with two outs in the top of the eighth to drive in the go-ahead run as Pasco defeated the Seahawks 6-4 to remain atop the Class 4A-District 8 standings.
"I was just trying to go with the pitch and score that run from second," said Dudley-Giles, who entered the game hitting .290 with only one extra-base hit (a double) and 4 RBI in 12 games. "I was just looking for a pitch to drive."
For a team known for its power, the Pirates (11-3, 10-2 4A-8) scored won their first game of the season without the benefit of a home run. Pasco has hit 27 home runs this season but none in its last two games.
"We've been struggling with our bats," said Pasco coach Ricky Giles. "When you struggle with the bat, you get a little error-prone. We had some walks and errors but we came back and played well."
Pasco jumped out to a 2-0 lead after its first at-bat but the Seahawks (8-7, 8-5 4A-8) came back in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-2 lead and increased it to 4-2 after two innings. But Pasco tied the score in the third on a double by Jacob Schrader and a single by Jorge Jaramillo. They were the only two hits for Pasco's No. 2-3-4 hitters.
"That situation isn't helping us," Giles said. "You can't expect them to do it all the time. We knew we might struggle sometime and we had to get better in the lower part of the lineup."
While the middle of the lineup (2 thru 5) was 2-14 with four walks, leadoff hitter Josh Johnson was 3-for-4 with 2 runs scored and an RBI and Dudley-Giles was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI.
For the second consecutive game, Sunlake let an extra-inning game slip away against the top two teams in the district. Friday against Zephyrhills, the Seahawks had runners on first and second with none out in the eighth inning, didn't score, and lost 8-2 in 9 innings. On Monday, Sunlake had first and second in the seventh with one out and left both stranded.
"We've had our opportunities," said Sunlake coach Dick Rohrberg. "We've either been one hit away or one defensive play away or one pitch away and we just can't get it done. People are trying too hard. You have to let the game come to you. If you try too hard, you start pressing."
Pasco's Matthew Gude earned the win with 4 innings of 1-hit relief. Sunlake's Pablo Rivera gave up the two runs in the eighth to take the loss.
Pasco 202 000 02 - 6 6 2
Sunlake 310 000 00 - 4 5 3
W - M. Gude (2-0). L - Rivera (0-2). 2B - Schrader (P); Fischer 2, Tripp (S). 3B - Dudley-Giles (P). Records - P 11-3, 10-2 4A-8, 6-1 Sunshine Athletic Conference; S 8-7, 8-5, 3-4.