Baseball | Class 7A semifinal: Haines City 2, St. Thomas Aquinas 1

Haines City’s small ball ends St. Thomas Aquinas’ season

 

Haines City’s suicide squeeze in the seventh inning gave the Hornets the winning run against St. Thomas Aquinas.

 
St Thomas Aquinas' Patrick Brundage reacts after losing to Haines City during the Class 7A state semifinal at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers on May 17, 2013.
St Thomas Aquinas' Patrick Brundage reacts after losing to Haines City during the Class 7A state semifinal at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers on May 17, 2013.
Jack Hardman / The News-Press

If you go

What: The state baseball finals.

When: Through Thursday.

Where: JetBlue Park, 11500 Fenway South Dr., Fort Myers.

Admission: $9 per session; Parking: $8.

Friday’s results — Class 8A semifinals: Plant City Durant 6, Hialeah American 0; Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley 4, Jupiter 0. Class 7A semifinals: Haines City 2, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas 1; Venice 4, Tallahassee Chiles 0.

Saturday’s schedule Class 7A final: Haines City vs. Venice, 4 p.m.; Class 8A final: Durant vs. Lake Brantley, 7:30 p.m.

Monday’s schedule Class 3A semifinals: Jacksonville Providence vs. Clearwater Central Catholic, 10 a.m.; Miami Florida Christian vs. Melbourne Central Catholic, 1 p.m.; Class 4A semis: Fort Myers Bishop Verot vs. Pensacola Catholic, 4 p.m.; Miami Monsignor Pace vs. Ocala Trinity Catholic, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday’s schedule Class 3A final: 4 p.m.; Class 4A final: 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday’s schedule — Class 6A semifinals: Southwest Ranches Archbishop McCarthy vs. Orlando Edgewater, 10 a.m.; Lynn Haven Mosley vs. Tampa King, 1 p.m.; Class 5A semifinals: Estero vs. St. Johns Creekside, 4 p.m.; Ponte Vedra vs. Tampa Jesuit, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday’s schedule — Class 5A final: 4 p.m.; Class 6A final: 7:30 p.m.


Special to The Miami Herald

One inning of great small ball by Haines City and shaky pitching and defense by St. Thomas Aquinas cost the Raiders their season on Friday at JetBlue Park.

With the game tied at one in the top of the seventh, Haines City drew two walks and laid down two successful bunts, including a go-ahead suicide squeeze, to snag a 2-1 lead that it would not rescind in a Class 7A state semifinal game.

The Hornets will play for the state championship Saturday at 4:05 p.m. at JetBlue Park, the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox.

“You don’t expect to lose a game when you don’t give up any earned runs,” St. Thomas Aquinas coach Troy Cameron said. “It’s baseball. Stuff like that happens.”

Henry Silvagoli drew a leadoff walk for the Hornets to start the seventh and moved to second after Jadis Ortega’s bunt single. A failed bunt attempt resulted in the inning’s first out, but Haines City loaded the bases after an error by Aquinas.

Hornets shortstop Keshawn Smith then laid down a suicide squeeze bunt perfectly down the third-base line that scored Ortega.

Raiders cleanup hitter Alec Byrd drew a walk to open the bottom of the seventh, but Haines City pitcher Daiton Scarborough set the next three Aquinas batters down in order to end the game.

“A couple mistakes were made and Haines City, being a good team, capitalized on them,” Cameron said.

Haines City wasted little time jumping on the Raiders as leadoff batter Bryan Morales reached second base after an error in the top of the first inning. Morales then stole third and scored on Keshawn Lynch’s RBI infield single to short.

Lynch then stole second to get in scoring position and was motoring home after Scarborough’s single up the middle. But a laser throw from Aquinas center fielder Peter Nicoletto cut down Lynch at the plate and helped prevent what could have been a huge inning for Haines City. Raiders pitcher Frank Rubio struck out the next batter, and Scarborough was thrown out trying to steal third to end the frame.

“Right when he hit the ball I knew I was going to throw him out,” Nicoletto said of Lynch.

Aquinas went down in order in its first two innings and neither team managed more than one runner on base again until Haines City had runners on second and third for Kevin Cruz with two outs in the top of the third. Cruz, the Hornets’ cleanup hitter, battled Rubio during an eight-pitch at-bat but popped out to first base to end Haines City’s rally.

A two-out double by Raiders shortstop Will Ardin finally gave Aquinas some life in the bottom of the third. Ardin scored and tied the game at 1 after Nicoletto ripped a double to right-center — his second of the game. Hornets starting pitcher Mike Ogden then struck out Christian Demby to end the inning.

Nicoletto also had a defensive highlight when he threw out Lynch motoring home in the first to stop some early bleeding.

Neither team threatened again until the top of the sixth when Cruz singled and reached second base on an error for Haines City. Speedster Equon Smith pinch ran for Cruz and moved to third on a passed ball with two outs. Rubio got Austin Taylor to harmlessly flight out to left to end the inning though.

The Raiders had the top of their order come to the plate in the bottom of the sixth but Scarborough, who relieved Ogden in the fifth, set them down in order almost effortlessly.

Aquinas, making its first final-four appearance since 2010, finished the season with a 17-7 record.

“We feel like we have accomplished a lot,” Rubio said of his senior season. “We didn’t accomplish what we wanted. We were capable of winning the state championship. … It’s definitely going to be a neat thing to watch what [Aquinas] can accomplish over the next couple years.”

HC1000001252
STA0010000154

WP: Scarborough. LP: Rubio.

Read more Broward High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Kristi Isabelle, a home schooled senior representing the South Florida HEAT Team, won the 300m hurdle during the Region 4-1A track meet on Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014, at Killian.

    Track and field

    Westminster’s James achieves rare sprint triple at regionals

    Westminster Academy’s Andrew James showed the Region 4-1A field at Dade Christian why he’s become one of the biggest box office draws in Florida.

  • Tennis | Class 1A state championships

    Young Sagemont boys’ team finishes third at state

    With a young team already facing an uphill battle to defend Sagemont’s Class 1A boys’ tennis title, coach Steven Browne brought a few extra passengers up to this week’s state tournament.

  • Water Polo

    STA sweeps to district titles

    Anna Smith-Johnson scored three goals as St. Thomas Aquinas put a halt to Fort Lauderdale’s improbable turnaround season in Thursday’s District 10 title game at Fort Lauderdale.

Get your Miami Heat Fan Gear!

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category