By Pete Sisk, Sun Correspondent
CAPE CORAL – Port Charlotte’s Matt Intihar felt lousy. No doubt about it.
When he wasn’t on the field in the late innings of Tuesday’s District 6A-11 game at Mariner, he was losing his lunch – and anything else in his system.
But while Intihar coudn’t keep anything down, the Pirates senior was able to keep it together long enough for Port Charlotte to complete an unlikely 10-8 comeback victory.
“He needs to take tomorrow off,” Port Charlotte coach Rod Taylor said. “He puked five times after he threw the bottom of the sixth. We didn’t think he’d have to go back out.”
“A couple of times on the hill out there, you could tell he was about to, but he fought it down. As soon as the game was over, he came back over to the corner and puked again. He fought through it.”
Port Charlotte had a 3-0 lead after four innings, only to see Mariner score three runs in the fifth and five more in the sixth. It looked like the Pirates would fall into a tie with Mariner and Cypress Lake for fourth in the district.
“Mariner came up with big hits when they had to, to get rid of our 3-0 lead,” Taylor said. “A lot of emotions on my side, a lot of emotions on our team’s side. You’re up 3-0 and you’re feeling good. Next time you look up you’re down 8-3 with a half-inning to go.”
However, the Pirates scored seven times in the top of the seventh inning, then got out of some trouble in the bottom of half to take the win. With the victory, Port Charlotte held onto third place in District 6A-11.
“Our kids responded well,” Taylor said. “Hitting is contagioius and they just kept hacking.
“They just kept passing it on.”
Intihar went to the mound as the Pirates’ third pitcher, for a while adding to his team’s problems. Two Intihar throwing errors extended the Tritons’ 6-3 lead to 8-3. But Inithar pulled it together, got three outs and got his team out of the inning.
With the Pirates down five and Intihar’s pitching stint seemingly over, he vomited repeatedly as the top of the seventh began. But Port Charlotte started a rally, one that would include a two-run single by Intihar. Matt LePoint’s two-run bloop to right gave Port Charlotte its lead.
So Intihar did have to go back out to pitch after all. It was an eventful inning – two hit batters, two wild pitches – but Intihar also registered two strikeouts, and when Jorge Susti lined out to center, he had the win.
And another trip to lose whatever was left of his lunch.
Mitchell Derocher gave Port Charlotte the early lead with a bases-loaded single good for three RBI.
LePoint pitched four scoreless innings before giving up three runs in the fifth.
PORT CHARLOTTE 10, MARINER 8
Port Charlotte 000 300 7 – 10 13 2
Mariner 000 035 0 – 8 10 1
WP: Matt Intihar. LP: Andrew Arsenault. Leading hitters: (PC) Intihar 3-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI; (M) Jimmy Meredith 3-5, 2 R, 3 RBI. Records: Port Charlotte (9-6, 5-4), Mariner (7-9, 3-6).