TAMPA — Tampa Catholic senior Joseph Burruezo got to see a few extra pitches, as his at-bat in the sixth inning was cut short when a runner was caught trying to steal second for the third out. So when he stepped up to the plate in the seventh, down two runs to visiting Jesuit and facing Tigers pitcher Bobby Hearn, who had a no-hitter through six innings, it would be natural to expect some nerves.
The senior second baseman, who filled designated hitter duties last season after Tommy John surgery, instead looked poised, picked out a pitch and singled to left-center to start a big inning for the Crusaders punctuated by a two-run, walk-off hit for senior Paulie Russo as Tampa Catholic (3-1) defeated Jesuit 4-3.
“I was really just trying to get something started for my team,” Burruezo said. “I waited for my pitch, picked one out and drove it to left and the guys did the rest.”
The win spoiled a solid start from Hearn, a left-handed junior, who walked a runner and hit a batter in the first then allowed a run on a Burruezo sac fly before striking out nine and not allowing the first hit until the seventh. Ronnie Ramirez was charged with the loss, striking out two.
TC’s Clayton Smith earned the win in relief, but the Crusaders got a workhorse effort from sophomore AJ Chacon, as the lefty threw 115 pitches over 61⁄3 innings, striking out nine and allowing three unearned runs.
“What an excellent performance from Chacon,” Crusaders coach Ty Griffin said.
CHIEF NO-HITTER: Chad Reeves threw a no-hitter and struck out seven for Chamberlain in the Chiefs’ 10-0 victory against Blake.