TAMPA — After capturing the Saladino Tournament title in mid-March, the Plant High baseball team dropped three of the next four games and had to follow coach Dennis Braun’s edict to “be forgetful.”
Yes, Plant has had a couple of stumbles along the way — just not when it comes to Class 8A-District 7 opponents.
The Panthers (15-5) sealed the top seed in the district tournament they are hosting this month with an 11-0 win against Alonso on Tuesday.
Senior Stephen Chamblee pitched a gem and earned his fifth win with his second straight complete-game shutout, holding the Ravens to four singles and striking out four.
“The Saladino Tournament was good, but we like to be forgetful — good or bad,” Chamblee said.
Errors behind him proved costly for Ravens starter Kevin Nunez in the second inning as Matt Vaka first reached on an error and later scored on another, but even worse for Alonso (16-3), it prolonged an inning where Plant scored five runs.
The inning was highlighted by an RBI double from Carter Leslie, who finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Plant added to the total in the sixth after consecutive singles from Jake Woodford, Leslie and Cooper Dickens, and the Panthers cashed in with a grand slam from Kyle Tucker, who has a Hillsborough County-leading five home runs on the season.
Plant is responsible for all three Ravens losses this season (two district games, one in tournament play) outscoring them 32-2.