Eagles’ Jasiak spins 3-hit shutout, blanking ’Canes, 14-0

Springstead High’s Jason Bienstock raps a double early in the game with Citrus High. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
Springstead High’s Jake Miller scampers across home plate after Citrus High’s catcher Evan Badger was pulled off the bag by a wide throw.Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
Springstead High’s Jack Jasiak improved to 7-1 behind his county-leading fifth complete game and third shutout Wednesday night over Inverness-Citrus, 14-0. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

BASEBALL

Spaingstead faces Dunnellon in

Friday’s 6A-6 final in Spring Hill

By TONY CASTRO

HernandoSport.com

SPRING HILL – For a third straight season 6A-6’s top seeds – Springstead and Dunnellon – will clash at 7 p.m. Friday in Spring Hill for the championship.

The top-seeded Eagles (21-4) pounded out 10 hits against four Hurricanes pitchers Wednesday night backing senior Springstead right-hander Jack Jasiak’s three-hitter, 14-0.

Dunnellon Tigers

In Marion County, Dunnellon topped Crystal River (12-11 overall) in the other 6A-6 semifinal, 9-4.

The Tigers (21-4 overall), the defending district champion, dropped both regular season meetings against Springstead, 8-4 (8 innings) and 13-3 (4.5).

Eagles: Early O

In a game shortened to 4.5 innings by the mercy rule, the Hurricanes (10-14) missed a golden opportunity to score.

Citrus opened the first inning with back-to-back two-out singles by senior Chance Yates and junior Mikey Gatto.

But the USF-bound Jasiak, who entered the game with 101 strikeouts against five walks in 53.0 innings, fanned sophomore Mikey McSherry to end the threat.

Springstead wasted little time staking Jasiak to a 3-0 lead behind four hits off Yates.

Jason Bienstock, who arrived hitting .319, opened the game with a double to left.

Jasiak coaxed a walk prior to red-hot senior designated hitter Jiovel Lantigua smashing an RBI single to center, plating Bienstock.

The run batted in served as Lantigua’s county-leading 38th of the season.

Senior catcher Jake Rice followed with an RBI single to left – his 15th of the season – plating courtesy runner Charles Novick.

Ivan Ortiz

Junior Ivan Ortiz’s fielder’s choice plated Jayden Crawford for his 17th RBI of the year, 3-0.

The hosts added two tallies in the second.

Junior Max O’Rourke, who entered hitting .313, led off with a single down the left field line.

At this point, Yates was lifted for sophomore Tim Flippen.

Jiovel Lantigua

With one out, Flippen walked Jasiak before Lantigua whistled an RBI single to right – his 39th – scoring O’Rourke, 4-0.

When Rice reached on an error, Novick scampered home, 5-0.

The hosts added five runs in the third inning on one hit.

Flippen opened the inning issuing walks to Joey Hopper and Ortiz.

Junior Jake Miller lined an RBI double to left scoring Hopper, 6-0.

Here, Cyr replaced Flippen on the hill.

A wild pitch permitted Ortiz to race home, 7-0.

Cyr plunked Louis Rodriguez with a pitch before walking O’Rourke.

Back-to-back errors plated two runs and another wild pitch pushed home SHS’10th run.

In the fourth against junior Jared Daigle, the Eagles bunched three hits to plate four additional tallies.

Joey Hopper

The uprising was highlighted by an RBI double by O’Rourke and consecutive bases loaded walks to force home runs by Rice, Hopper and Ortiz, 14-0.

Charles Novick

When the dust settled, Miller, O’Rourke and Lantigua each led the hosts with two hits apiece. O’Rourke and Novick each plated three runs.

After the first inning, Citrus’ only other hit was a out-single to right in the fourth inning by McSherry.

With the mound win, Jasiak improved to 7-1 overall. He hurled 58 pitches and fanned seven and did not issue a free pass.

The five-inning complete game was his county-best fifth of the season.

The whitewash served as Jasiak’s county-leading third of the season.

Post-game chatter

The multi-sport O’Rourke, who played quarterback for the football team and played basketball, finished 2-for-2.

Max O’Rourke

“I felt great,” expressed O’Rourke, 17, who missed time from school due to a bout of mononucleosis. “Citrus is better than this. They didn’t have their ace. I just made sure my hips and hands were coming through the zone.”

On the win’s significance, “It was a really big win,” replied O’Rourke. “This sets us up against a quality opponent on Friday.”

On the keys to success Friday, “We just need to keep it rolling.”

On Jasiak’s efforts, “I’ve seen a lot of kids with ability, but Jack (Jasiak) is one of the humblest guys you’re ever gonna meet. We was dialed in from the first pitch.”

Jake Miller

Miller, whose team nickname is “McDouble” coincidentally banged his ninth and 10th two-baggers of the season to tie NCT’s Jonathan McMath for the county lead.

“I’ve been seeing the ball pretty well lately,” explained the 16-year-old Miller.

Rewinding his mindset at the plate, “Citrus’ third pitcher (Cyr) threw the ball a lot harder than either of their first two guys tonight. I was just trying to drive the ball.”

On the game‘s importance, “This was a statement to everyone else,” stressed Miller.

Jack Jasiak

“I felt good tonight,“ explained the 18-year-old Jasiak. “Coming in we knew Citrus could swing the bats, so we purposely changed the way we attacked guys. I kinda threw backwards. There were a lot more curveballs.”

“… Citrus is a good team,“ added Jasiak. “They‘re a better team than this. They just had a tough night on the mound tonight.”

On SHS‘ approach against Dunnellon, “It all starts Friday by hitting the ball,” noted Jasiak. “We can’t be going up to the plate and striking out. Hitting will be the key.”

Coaches’ corner

Springstead head coach Shawn Laferty  Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO.

Fifth-year SHS skipper Shawn Laferty on his school record fourth straight district final, “The focus was great from the first inning on. It just seemed like we‘d been hitting better in practice the last couple of days and it translated tonight.”

On Jasiak’s mound efforts, “I can’t say enough about Jack. He’s one of the area’s premier pitchers. Sometimes people take guys like him for granted and expect him to do all the heavy lifting.

“… Tonight our defense played well and we swung the bats up and down the lineup. Jack did the rest just shutting the door on Citrus.”

2019 Class 6A, District 6 Baseball Tournament

05-07 Quarterfinals:

@ Lecanto

Citrus 6, Lecanto 5

@ Crystal River

Crystal River 1, Weeki Wachee 0 (9)

05-08 Semifinals:

@ Spring Hill

Springstead 14, Citrus 0 (4.5 Innings)

@ Dunnellon

Dunnellon 9, Crystal River 4

05-10 Championship:

@ Spring Hill

Dunnellon vs. Springstead, 7 p.m.

Springstead 14,

Citrus 0 (4.5 Innings)

1

2

3

4

5

R

H

ER

LOB

CIT

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

3

4

SPG

3

2

5

4

x

14

10

1

8

CIT – Yates, Flippen (2), Cyr (3), Daigle (4) and Badger.

SPG – Jack Jasiak and Rice.

W – Jasiak (7-1). L – Yates.

2B – SPG: Miller (2), Bienstock, O’Rourke.

Records – Citrus (1-1 tourney, 10-14 overall), Springstead (1-0 tourney, 21-4 overall).

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