Baseball makes surprise run to state semifinal

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photo by Mia Campese

Junior Daniel Beldowicz is swinging. Beldowicz went 2-4 with 2 RBI’s in the regional final game against Bartram Trail, he helped the team advance to the Final Four.

The team played #1 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Friday, May 20, down in Fort. Myers. The game was 0-0 until the second inning, when Stoneman took the lead, then the team responded back and scored one run in the third inning. Making the game tied, 1-1 up until the fifth inning, when Stoneman took the lead, 3-1. Then in the bottom of the sixth, Stoneman put up one more run on the board and held the team, 4-1 in the top of the seventh.

Playing the number one ranked team in the country for the semifinal game, the team and coaching staff felt they were well prepared for this moment. They have been practicing on their struggles the week before, trying to perfect them before this game. Baserunning and making routine defensive plays were the teams top priority. 

“Everything that did not go our way we practiced multiple times this season. We just need to execute a couple things better,” head coach Mike Sindone said. “I felt that some of our guys battled as best they could. I could not ask for more.”

Before their game could even start, they had to deal with four weather delays. Staying focused on the game during those delays was the big challenge and the boys succeeded. 

“I don’t think the weather delays affected the outcome of our game, we had several delays against Lake Brantley in the regional semi final game and we still came out on top,” second base/pitcher Daniel Beldowicz said. “In this game, Stoneman Douglas just had more momentum in their favor.” 

It was a hard battle fought throughout the whole game, sophomore Talan Bell was on the mound, he performed well and gave the team a chance to win the game. 

“Talan threw very well and gave us a chance to win by keeping us in it. A play made here or there and we might be tied going into the 7th,” Sindone said. “However we made a couple key mistakes and lost 4-1. Either way I am very proud of these guys.” 

Stonemans strengths were pitching and hitting. Scoring three important runs later in the game to secure their win over Hagerty, and holding them to one run after the third inning. 

“We played a good game, we were able to stop their lineup for most of the game. We just need to limit defensive errors, and we need to be more aggressive at the plate,” Beldowicz said. 

The team had a solid run this season, proving people wrong by going on a six game win streak towards the end of the season, which was a shock based on their 12-11 normal season record. To then become district and regional champions, and beat Bartram Trail High School to make it to the final four. A game where their win chance was only 10%. This was Sindone’s first final four run with Hagerty, and he expects to make it back there next season. 

“I am so proud of this team. They went through so much as a group and stayed together. Coaches also did a tremendous job so I want to show a little love to our coaching staff as well,” Sindone said. “Ultimately, we had an opportunity and things didn’t go our way. Most importantly, we got to share an incredible playoff experience together, that these guys will remember the rest of their lives. I know I will. They did everything I asked and more.”

 

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