By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports
ENGLEWOOD — Lemon Bay coach Casey Hanrahan has an interesting theory for his team’s recent success.
“I’m telling you, it’s that cell phone tower they put in. It’s radiating its positive energy on us,” Hanrahan said.
Whatever it is, it’s working.
Zach Taylor threw a one-hitter and eight different players drove in a run to lead Lemon Bay to its sixth straight win, a 10-0 shutout over Oasis on Wednesday night at Jack Lewellyn Field in a game that ended after five innings on the mercy rule.
Trey Fields led the way with two RBI and two runs while leadoff hitter Warnner Rincones scored a team-high three times to go along with two triples on a 3-for-3 night. Chace Shork’s RBI double in the fifth scored Fields for the game’s final run.
“But seriously, we’re just playing good baseball right now. It’s good to see,” Hanrahan said. “It took us awhile to get going this season, but I think we’re finally catching our stride and we’re able to produce in situations that we need it.
“Our pitchers are throwing well, our defense is playing well — things are just clicking right now.”
Taylor struck out eight in a complete game effort while walking only one. The only Oasis hit came on Pat Picciolo’s single in the third.
The senior struck out the side in the fifth and struck out two more in the third before striking out another after Picciolo’s single.
“He’s a good pitcher. He really is. He’s our guy that we can rely on,” Hanrahan said. “He eats up a lot of innings for us, which is a very important position on the team. I’m happy with the way he pitched tonight and he did a good job.”
Lemon Bay struck for three runs in the first inning off of Oasis starter Justin Brooks. Rincones scored on an error, Jacob Treece scored on a single by Fields, and Fields later scored on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Kreissler.
Rincones hit his first triple in the next inning and later scored on a double by Treece. Lemon Bay blew the game open in the third for a 7-0 lead on an RBI double by Taylor and singles by Flynn Stewart and Rincones that produced runs.
“We’re really playing as a team now. We’re coming together,” Rincones said. “At the beginning of the year, we started slow but now we’re becoming a team.”
Brooks’ night ended when he walked Fields to start the fourth. Fields later scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Sweiderk. The final line for Brooks’ wasn’t pretty as all eight of his runs were earned on five hits and five walks.
Rincones hit his second triple in the fifth off of Oasis reliever Steve Salamida. The shot very easily could’ve been an inside the park home run, but Hanrahan held him at third, although begrudgingly.
“That’s a tough call,” Hanrahan said. “I was thinking about it because we’ve been thrown out in that situation before and it kind of takes the wind out of your sails but he probably would’ve made it.”
Rincones scored anyway on Fields’ single that put Lemon Bay up 9-0. Treece, who walked after Rincones’ triple, scored the final run on Shork’s double.
LEMON BAY 10, OASIS 0
Oasis 000 00 — 0 1 2
Lemon Bay 313 12 — 10 5 1
WP: Zach Taylor. LP: Justin Brooks. Leading hitters: (LB) Warnner Rincones 3-3, 2 3B, 3 R, RBI; Trey Fields 2-3, 2 RBI, 2 R. Records: Lemon Bay 12-8, Oasis 7-13.