CLEARWATER — Friday night's falling temps weren't nearly enough to cool off East Lake senior Brad Deppermann.
The hard-throwing righty pounded the strike zone and burned through Countryside's lineup, surrendering just a pair of infield singles and striking out 12 while blanking the Cougars, 1-0.
“Hats off to Deppermann,” East Lake coach Dan Genna said. “He had all three pitches working and he spotted all night. He got ahead and he was electric.”
Nearly matching Deppermann was the complete-game effort turned in by Countryside's Christian Townsend. The senior walked five but only gave up two base hits.
“That was two gladiators going out there,” Genna said. “One was more of a power pitcher, one was more of a finesse pitcher, and we squeaked by.”
Friday's lone run came across in the top of the fourth when East Lake took advantage of a defensive miscue.
With runners on first and second and one out, Townsend got Nick DeSantis to roll a potential inning-ending double play to third. DeSantis' routine grounder found its way through Countryside third baseman Mike Adams' legs, though, allowing Keegan Maronpot to race home. Maronpot led the inning off by pushing the night's first hit through the right side.
That's all East Lake could manage against the speed-changing Townsend, but it proved to be plenty.
“I just saved a little bit for the end because I knew I was going the whole game,” Deppermann said of going up against Townsend. “I had to pace myself.”
The North Florida signee retired the first 10 batters he faced before Countryside shortstop Charlie Skantze rolled an infield single up the middle.
The only other Cougars hit came off the bat of left fielder Tommy Labella in the fifth. East Lake third baseman Christian James got a glove on a Labella's sharply hit grounder while diving to his left but couldn't make what would have been an outstanding play.
Deppermann faced only two batters over the minimum of 21 on Friday thanks to superb control and his low-90s heat.
Countryside put one baserunner – Labella in the fifth – in scoring position. The junior stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball, but Deppermann fanned Kyle Kania to end the threat.
East Lake improves to 7-2 overall and 3-1 in Class 7A District 9 play. Two of its three games next week, Seminole on Tuesday and Northeast on Friday, are league contests.
Countryside (6-2, 2-2) will try to push its district record back above .500 on Tuesday night against Clearwater. The Cougars face league-rival Pinellas Park at home next Friday.
WP – Brad Deppermann (3-1)
LP – Christian Townsend (3-1)
Brad Deppermann – W, 7.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 12 K, 0 B – 1-for-3, 1 BB
Keegan Maronpot – 1-for-3, 1 R
Christian Townsend – L, 7.0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 H, 6 K, 5 BB
Tommy Labella – 1-for-2, 1 SB