Jefferson starting pitcher Mike Dominguez earned the win on the mound working seven innings and striking out seven.

By Jarrett Guthrie

TAMPA – The breaks can be on your side or against you, and despite two absolute warriors going at it on the mound, someone had to win and someone had to fall in Tuesday’s Class 6A region semifinal at Jesuit as the Tigers hosted district foe Jefferson.

Jesuit senior Jack Anderson worked seven innings allowing one
unearned run and struck out eight in a no-decision.

Jesuit ace and FSU signee Jack Anderson dealt for seven innings, allowing just one unearned run and striking out eight, but answering the call for Jefferson was junior Mike Dominguez, who matched his counterpart with seven innings of his own allowing just one run and striking out seven.

And with a few breaks the right way, Jefferson evened the season series against the Tigers in the biggest fashion with a 2-1, eighth inning win and advance to next Tuesday’s Class 6A region final.

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“We knew with the pitching on both sides this was going to be a low scoring game,” acting Jefferson head coach Pete Scaglione said. “We had a game plan and the team was really calm coming in, but we knew this would come down to the end and a bunt or something would have to break our way.”

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Dominguez battled out of trouble a few times in the win, none bigger than the seventh inning as he struck out three, while stranding two runners aboard in his final inning of work.

“I tried to attack the runners in that inning,” Dominguez said. “They were the home team obviously and they got those two hits, so I just had to dig deep and get that big strikeout.”

A tough call on a bang-bang play as Jesuit was held to just one
run in the second, with two outs coming at the plate in the

Jefferson (19-8) rewarded its starter in the eighth inning as Jake Coleman poked a one-out single up the middle. Pinch runner Ian Quelle replaced Coleman, and one out later moved to second on a walk, before scoring as Oscar Galvez put down a bunt and a throwing error on a would-be third out allowed Quelle to motor around to break the tie.

From there, senior Robby Martin closed things out bottom half, earning the save by working around a hit-by-pitch with a strikeout, a getting a fielder’s choice and a pop out to end the game.

“It was crazy to come in with a one-run lead and against a team like that, a one run lead is never safe,” Martin said. “…To be able to secure that win is crazy and this was a great one for our team.”

Jefferson senior Robby Martin closed the door on the game working
a scoreless eighth inning to pick up the save for the Dragons.

After the win, the team presented the game ball to the 20-year veteran assistant Scaglione, who served as the game’s acting head coach, filling in for head coach Juan Fontela who is serving a suspension for the remainder of the season after an ejection last Tuesday. Scaglione, a Jesuit alum, said the coaching staff knew runs would be at a premium with the pitching matchup, but his Dragons executed perfectly.

“The team gave (the game ball) to me as a memento of this one,” Scaglione said. “It means a lot, being here for 20 years, I have a lot of game balls, but this one means something special.”

Dominguez, a University of Tampa verbal commit, spoke about Anderson’s toughness after the win.

“Jack Anderson is a great pitcher and on top of that a great person,” Dominguez said. “He battles every game he pitches, so this was exactly the game I expected.”

The win moves Jefferson on to the region final for the first time since 2007 and the Dragons will face the winner between Springstead and Dunnellon, which will be played on Wednesday after being rained out on Tuesday.

Jefferson 2, Jesuit 1 (eight innings)

Jef 010 000 01 — | 2 | 6 | 0
Jes 010 000 00 — | 1 | 7 | 3

W – Dominguez. L – Swantek. S – Martin. 2B – Politz (Jes). Records – Jef 19-8; Jes 19-10.