Christian Scott carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning, and Calvary Christian rolled to a 6-1 victory over Tampa Berkeley Prep in the Class 4A state semifinals on Friday at JetBlue Park. The victory sends Calvary to the state final for the first time.
Although he was wild at times, walking two and hitting two batters, Scott kept the Buccaneers off balance for nearly the entire game, giving up three hits and one run in 6 1/3 innings with two strikeouts.
Jakob Hines finally gave Berkeley its first hit of the game, leading off the seventh inning with a single to left, and Michael Hill drove him home three batters later to get Berkeley on the board, enough to get Calvary coach Alan Kunkel to pull Scott from the game.
“It got into my head a little bit, but you’ve got to throw your game,” Scott said about the potential no-hitter. “I threw a fastball in there, and he barreled it up. Kudos to him.”
Brett Lawson gave up one hit in relief before inducing a game-ending double play.
“We’ve played this schedule all year. We had a stretch this year where we had to fight to close out games,” Kunkel said. “It’s tough to take your sophomore out who has carried you all year, but Lawson has been great all year in doing what we needed him to do.”
Calvary finally broke through at the plate in the third. Tommy Orr had an RBI single to right and Luis Ezra followed with a two-run single to left, giving the Eagles a 3-0 lead. Calvary added three more runs in the sixth.
Now Calvary will face Fort Myers Bishop Verot in the Class 4A championship game, in what might as well be a road game. The Vikings’ campus is just 10 miles from JetBlue Park. The Vikings defeated Jacksonville Providence 3-1 in the other semifinal on Friday.
Although it will be Calvary’s first state final, Kunkel led Orangewood Christian to a state runner-up finish in 2011.
“I know a lot [about coach David Nelson’s Bishop Verot] program; it’s a great program,” Kunkel said. “We know exactly what that program history looks like. They’re a good team; they’re scrappy. I think as long as we play our game and do the things we’ve done all year and not try to do anything different, we have a good shot.”
If you go
What: The state baseball finals.
When: Through Saturday (Classes 4A-1A) Wednesday through May 21 (Classes 9A-5A).
Where: jetBlue Park, 11500 Fenway South Drive, Fort Myers.
Admission: $9 per day; Parking: $10 for cars; $50 for fan buses.
Friday’s results – Class 4A semifinals: Fort Myers Bishop Verot 3, Jacksonville Providence 1; Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian 6, Tampa Berkeley Prep 1; Class 3A semifinals: Fort Myers Canterbury 2, Maclay 1; Fort Pierce John Carroll vs. Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic, inc.
Saturday’s schedule – Class 4A final: Calvary Christian vs. Bishop Verot, 4:05; Class 3A final: Canterbury vs. John Carroll-Santa Fe Catholic winner, 7:35.
Next Wednesday’s schedule – Class 6A semifinals: Naples Barron Collier vs. Lynn Haven Mosley, 10 a.m.; Southwest Ranches Archbishop McCarthy vs. Citra North Marion, 1; Class 5A semifinals: Jacksonville Bolles vs. Melbourne Central Catholic, 4; Miami Monsignor Pace vs. Orlando Bishop Moore, 7.
Thursday, May 19 – Class 7A semifinals: Venice vs. St. Johns Creekside, 10 a.m.; Belen Jesuit vs. Tampa Gaither, 1; Class 6A final: 4:05; Class 5A final: 7:35.
Friday, May 20 – Class 9A semifinals: Parkland Douglas vs. Winter Garden West Orange, 10 a.m.; Miami Columbus vs. Tampa Alonso, 1; Class 8A semifinals: Oviedo Hagerty vs. Ocala Forest, 4; Westland Hialeah vs. Tampa Steinbrenner, 7.
Saturday, May 21 – Class 7A final: 12:35; Class 9A final: 4:05; Class 8A final: 7:35.