Bellomo caps 11-run rally as Lancers defeat Phoenix

Cambridge Christian sophomore Brody Bellomo watches his two-run double go into left field. Bellomo arched in all five plate appearances, scoring twice and is hitting .492 on the year. 

By Jarrett Guthrie, Editor

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS – Pop Quiz: Name the hottest hitter in the 813 – or according to his head coach, the “hottest hitter on the planet”?

If you didn’t guess Cambridge Christian sophomore Brody Bellomo, consider this your introduction to the Lancers breakout star.

For our full photo gallery from this game click here.

On Friday night, chasing four runs on the road against Brooks DeBartolo, Bellomo stepped to the plate to lead off the seventh and … was plunked. Unfortunately for the Phoenix, it would not be the final at-bat for the sophomore as the Lancers batted around and Bellomo ripped a chest-high fastball for a line drive double to left, giving his team the lead and capping an 11-run rally as Cambridge Christian took an 11-8 win to close out the regular season.

“I knew (Phoenix reliever Aiden Brown) wasn’t throwing too many strikes, so I was able to wait and pick my pitch,” Bellomo said, “and the results speak for themselves.”

Bellomo collects the first of his three hits on Friday with a first-inning single lined to left.

For the month of April, Bellomo was 22-for-35, including his 3-for-3 night on Friday, with a walk and a hit by pitch. On the year his team-leading 32 hits have him at .492 for the season, with 32 runs scored, 21 RBI, 11 doubles, three triples and four home runs.

Early on however, the game looked headed decisively in the home team’s favor.

Brooks DeBartolo (3-21) got going in the second inning as senior Ethan Corscadden sent the first of his three hits skipping through the left side, and he scored the first run as the Phoenix stacked singles from Cade Hoffman, Dominick Valley and Aiden Brown to take a two-run lead.

Phoenix senior Ethan Corscadden was 3-for-4, with two doubles and scored three times.

Cambridge Christian (14-8) employed a Rays-esque “opener” strategy to start Friday’s game as senior Joel Kubinsky limited the damage to the two runs, while working three innings and striking out one. From there, some sloppy defense and Lancers pitching struggles allowed the Phoenix to build upon the lead.

Cambridge Christian starting pitcher Joel Kubinsky.

The first of two doubles Corscadden had in the game (3-for-4, stolen base, three runs) led off the fourth and two wild pitches brought him in. An error and a two more wild pitches, along with a bases loaded walk built the Phoenix lead to six. Another error and another RBI hit from Valley built a comfortable lead in the fifth.

Sophomore Dominick Valley drives in a run on one of his two RBI singles.

But not comfortable enough, as Brooks got stung by planning for next week’s district tournament, pulling its senior starting pitcher, Curtis, after five shutout innings, where the righty allowed just two hits and a walk and struck out four and left with an eight-run lead. But with Monday’s district opener against Tampa Prep, Curtis’ night on the hill was cut short before he could reach the 75 pitch-count that would make him ineligible to pitch for four days.

Brooks DeBartolo senior Jimmy Curtis pitched five shutout innings for the Phoenix, striking out four and giving up two hits.

From there the Phoenix relief staff faltered, hitting five batters, issuing five walks and watching as Cambridge Christian spun a revolving door at the plate.

The Lancers loaded the bases in the sixth on a pair of walks and a hit batter, before Kubinsky lined an RBI single into center, two more walks and a sac fly from Jack Temperley cut the deficit in half.

Cambridge turned to pitcher Leyton Parmer to try and keep the game in reach, he walked the first he faced, but erased that mistake catching the runner heading toward second with a throw to the bag, before sending his team back to the plate.

“As a reliever you have to come in and stop the bleeding,” Parmer said. “Especially, how it went the previous few innings where we couldn’t throw strikes. I tried to pitch to contact, and they weren’t able to put it in play.”

Leyton Parmer earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief, he also scored twice in the win.

Kubinsky would add his second RBI single to get the scoring going in the seventh, as the Lancers erased the lead, tying the game on a groundball fielder’s choice from Temperley and setting up Bellomo for the game-deciding double scoring two runs (a third would score on an error on the same play).

“It’s just a never-give-up mentality,” Bellomo said. “We always stick around and then we get on base and get it to the next guy, and good results happen when you do that.”

The senior Parmer spoke about Bellomo’s growth from his first varsity games as an eighth grader to his impressive sophomore campaign.

“His confidence, not just his mechanics, his overall attitude – he always puts in the most he can,” Parmer said. “He’s just a team player. He’s so unselfish.”

Bellomo, living up to the “team player” moniker, praised the Lancers bottom of the lineup for keeping the rally going. From the six-hole Kubinsky was 2-for-4, with two runs and two RBI, pinch-hitter Aiden Alessi drew a bases loaded walk, PJ Blair and the nine-hole Temperley each had two RBI.

“The bottom of the order kept it rolling,” Bellomo said. “When we get them on, get the top of the lineup to the plate, that’s when we score runs.”

Lancers junior Jack Temperley rounds third, headed home on Bellomo’s double. Temperley had two RBI in the win.

Kubinsky was pleased with the results after providing a lift in his final two at-bats.

“It feels great, there is nothing better,” he said, “it’s all a part of that ‘finish it’ mentality, that’s something we’ve talked about the last couple of weeks.”

Parmer returned to the hill, lead in hand, and finished off the win, despite yielding a single to Curtis (3-for-4, run).

The rally was something Kubinsky said he hopes will roll into the playoffs for the fourth-seeded Lancers in next week’s 2A-District 10 tournament, where Cambridge opens up against Academy at the Lakes (on Monday at Carrollwood Day).

“We can win it,” he said. “Anybody who says we can’t, hasn’t been watching or doesn’t know what they are talking about.”

Cambridge Christian 11, Brooks DeBartolo 8

C 000|004|7 – |11|6|3
B 020|420|0 – |8|10|4
W – Parmer (4-4); L – Hoffman
2B – Bellomo (C); Corscadden 2 (B). Records – C (14-8); B (3-21).