Scoring runs in bunches is what St. Thomas Aquinas does.
They did it again on Saturday.
The host Raiders pounded out 10 hits, rolling over Coral Glades 11-2 in a Class 8A regional semifinal. Aquinas (24-3) advances to Wednesday’s regional final at McArthur and is now another step closer to defending their state title.
Aquinas is 5-1 against McArthur dating back to 2006, including a 13-0 decision in their last meeting in 2014.
It was the seventh consecutive victory for the Raiders and seventh straight scoring double-digit runs. In all Aquinas has scored 10 or more runs 18 occasions this season.
“Scoring runs like this makes us look like better coaches than we are,” said St. Thomas Aquinas coach Troy Cameron. “We have some pretty good pitching on out team so when we put up runs like we did today, we’re pretty confident we can come out on top.”
Up 4-2 in the going into the bottom of the third inning, the Raiders got a couple of big hits to key a five-run inning.
Raheem Salmon drove in two with a triple. Matt Archer followed with an RBI double to help build a 9-2 lead.
“When we come to the plate, we all have an approach to make sure we drive the ball and hit it hard somewhere,” said Salmon. “Coaches tell us that pressure bursts pipes, so putting pressure on the other teams put things together.”
Senior left-handed pitcher Isaiah Hood (8-2) earned the win going five innings allowing three hits, two runs, while striking out four.
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the second, the Raiders got four players to drive in a run including Nick Vera.
He finished that night going 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run.
“We had a magical season last year and swung the bats well,” Cameron said. “We’ve been trying to find the identity of this team and I don’t think we have realized how good of an offensive team we are this year. Hopefully we can keep this going.”
Max Wank gave the Jaguars a 1-0 first-inning lead on a towering home run over the right-center fence. Wank added his second homer of the night on as 2-1 count over right-field.
It was all the Jaguars (13-5-1) could muster in the loss.