Thursday, March 15, 2012

Prep baseball: Hurricanes hope to build on SBC performance

(photo by John Lembo)

The Manatee Hurricanes are hoping their last two wins did more than just qualify them for tonight's Eilte Division championship game at the Sarasota Baseball Classic.

"It's really coming up big after the couple of games we had in a row," coach Dwayne Strong said Wednesday following Manatee's 4-3, nine-inning win over Venice. "We had the sixth inning against Riverview, the Braden River game and then the game against Flanagan. So this is huge."

Manatee lost 9-1 to Braden River last Friday and opened the Sarasota Baseball Classic on Monday with a sloppy 8-2 loss to Flanagan. But the Hurricanes defeated Miami Sunset on Correlle Prime's walk-off grand slam on Tuesday before outlasting the Indians on Wednesday to clinch first place in Pool A and reach tonight's 7 p.m. championship game against Naples Barron Collier.

The game will be played at Sarasota High.

The Hurricanes (8-4) want to leave the SBC with a championship, something a Manatee County school hasn't done in 11 years. Most importantly, however, is they hope the momentum spins forward, especially since they resume Class 7A-District 11 play next Friday at Sarasota.

"We just need to find ways right now to win until we get right, and we ain't right yet," Strong said. "That's a beautiful thing, to be where we're at and we ain't right yet. We're just not clicking on all cylinders yet."

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