PORT CHARLOTTE. — Port Charlotte scored in every inning and got a complete game from pitcher Damian Ashley in rolling to an 11-2 win over North Fort Myers in a Class 6A-District 11 baseball quarterfinal Monday night.
The Pirates pounded out 15 hits as everyone in the lineup hit safely, led by designated hitter Zach Koerick with three hits and five RBIs. Hunter Wilder, Will Hepner, and Mitchell Derocher added two hits apiece.
“Damian did a great job for us tonight,” Port Charlotte coach Rodney Taylor said. “Kept his pitch count down in the mid 80s for a complete seven inning game. We scored in every inning and gave him some run support tonight.” Ashley allowed six hits, walked one and struck out six.
The Red Knights got on the scoreboard first in the top of the first inning as RJ Tejeda singled, advanced on a groundout and scored on a throwing error.
But the Pirates quickly evened the score in the bottom of the frame as Scotty McLean led off with a single, stole second, moved up on ground out, and came home on a single by Wilder.
Port Charlotte took the lead for good in the bottom of the second inning as Ashley singled and courtesy runner Jeremy Swofford scored on Hepner’s double to make it 2-1.
The Pirates worked the hit and run to perfection in the third inning. With Wilder on second after reaching on a base hit, Koerick hit a ground ball deep in the hole at short. Koerick beat the throw to first, and Wilder scored all the way from second as he was running with the pitch.
The Knights cut the lead to 3-2 in the top of the fourth, but Port Charlotte added two more in their half of the inning. Eric Morales singled, Hepner followed with his second double of the night and Derocher singled up the middle to make it 5-2.
The Pirates got three more in the fifth off reliever Riley Reed as Wilder walked and stole second. Koerick doubled home Wilder, went to third on an errant pickoff throw and scored on a wild pitch. Ashley’s single and another throwing error on a ball hit to third by Hepner brought in another run to make it 8-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, Andrew Rodriguez singled, Wilder walked, and Koerick followed with a home run over the left field fence to complete the scoring.
“We hit the ball well tonight,” Taylor said. “ I hope they keep rolling because they swung it well tonight. One through nine, up and down the lineup.”
The Pirates, now 17-8, will host Island Coast in the semifinals Tuesday night.
PORT CHARLOTTE 11, NORTH FORT MYERS 2
North Fort Myers. 100. 100. 0. — 2. 6. 3
Port Charlotte. 111. 233. X. — 11. 15. 1
WP — Damian Ashley. LP — Joey Rodriguez. Leading hitters: Zach Koerick (PC) 3-4, HR, 2B, 5 RBIs; Will Hepner (PC) 2-4, 2 2B, 2 RBIs; Hunter Wilder (PC) 2-2, 3 runs, RBI; Mitchell Derocher (PC) 2-3, RBI.