ST. PETERSBURG — Lemon Bay stormed out to an early four-run lead and held off Lakewood 6-3 in a Class 5A region semifinal at Northeast High School on Wednesday.
Lakewood (18-11) trailed 5-0 going into the bottom of the fifth inning when Anthony Hudson roped an RBI double to the top of the leftfield fence that scored Torry Jones and made the score 5-1.
In the sixth inning the Spartans pulled closer after an RBI double from Jeremy Texel and another RBI hit from Aidan O'Dowd made the score 5-3. But Lemon Bay (20-11) added an insurance run in the top of the seventh.
Lemon Bay took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second after loading the bases with one out. Cole Dukes hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored Brandon Gielow.
In the top of the third, Gielow had a single that scored Flynn Stewart and Jon Moore, who walked to lead off the inning. Gielow would eventually score on a hit from Josh Gossett to make it 4-0.
The Manta Rays added a run in the fourth when Gusset scored after a bases-loaded walk to make it 5-0.
Lakewood had several chances to score early. The Spartans loaded the bases in the first inning off singles from Jones, Hudson and Leo Passley but Anthony Melendez lined out to center to end the inning.
In fourth inning Lakewood had runners on first and third but failed to score.
Hudson was 3-for-4 with an RBI while O'Dowd and Texel were 2-for-4 with RBIs. Lakewood starting pitcher Scott German gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings.