The Port Charlotte Pirates clung to a 2-1 lead at the end of four Innings at DeSoto County Thursday night. They sent up nine hitters in the fifth inning to score four times and then iced the game with another four spot in the 7th.
Pirates starting pitcher Mitchell Derocher was in more jams than a judge at a County Fair in his four Innings of work, but the big right-hander managed to get out of trouble each inning.
In the first inning he walked three batters and gave up a single to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. Pirate coach Rod Taylor visited the mound. "I told him to just just settle down and throw strikes. He's the kind of kid that can reach within and motivate himself and that's what he did."
Derocher did just that, as the next two hitters we're both guilty of excessive window shopping, and they were both called out on strikes without ever swinging the bat. The next hitter popped up to Derocher to end the inning.
In the second the Bulldogs had a man thrown out at the plate. In the third DeSoto had two men on and one out and could not push a runner in.
In the Bulldog fourth the first two men got on but again we're unable to dent the dish.
Meanwhile the Pirates pushed in two runs in the third to take a 2-1 lead. Hunter Wilder turned on a pitch and drove it deep over the right fielder's head for a stand-up triple to knock in a run and he scored on a Zach Koerick infield single.
The Pirates broke the game open in the fifth with two walks, two singles and a pair of doubles to score four times. In the 7th inning, a leadoff walk and three straight singles along with a Bulldog error, put four more on the scoreboard to reach a final of 10 to 2.
"Usually when something like that happens, something just clicks, then I get more motivated out there and I start throwing harder with more control too," said Derocher.
Will Hepner swung a big stick for the Pirates going 3-3 and driving in two of the runs. Koerick had a couple of hits scored twice and knocked in two. Wilder scored twice and knocked in a run on two hits.
The Pirates managed just three hits in the first four Innings, and two of them were infield singles. In the fifth and seventh innings, they combined for seven hits to walk away with the non-district win.
Jade Zepeda was the starting pitcher for the Bulldogs and had three of their five hits.
They are home tonight for a district game with Cape Coral. They beat Cape Coral earlier this week 4-0 on a 12 strikeout performance by Ryan Lomski. The Pirates are now 4 and 2 overall and 1-0 in the district.