Baseball state runner-up for second consecutive year

Head+coach+Matt+Cleveland+and+the+eleven+seniors+on+the+varsity+baseball+team+pose+with+the+state+runner-up+trophy.+They+were+defeated+by+Lincoln%2C+5-1.

photo by Jay Getty

Head coach Matt Cleveland and the eleven seniors on the varsity baseball team pose with the state runner-up trophy. They were defeated by Lincoln, 5-1.

Bryson Turner, Online Editor

Athletic director Jay Getty and principal Mary Williams handed out the state runner-up medals to the baseball team, capping off a weekend that also included a three and a half hour lightning delay and the team’s second consecutive appearance the 8A state playoffs.

The team lost to Lincoln, 5-1, in the state championship on Saturday, June 3, leaving the team’s record at 23-9 for the season.

Starter Austin Abbe struck out five batters and allowed two earned runs on a right field homer in the fourth inning. Reliever Chris Ragosta entered the game in the final inning, striking out one.

On the offensive side, the team earned four hits from the bats of first basemen Britt Crawford, shortstop Vaughn Grissom, second basemen Zak Grabbe and leftfielder Vincent Phillips. Centerfielder Brian Ellis scored the lone run of the game after getting on base via error.

“The other team just played better baseball than us,” Phillips said. “Their pitcher was on the whole night and we just couldn’t string a couple hits against him.”

Despite the loss, head coach Matt Cleveland continues to maintain the same coaching objectives he held himself to over the course of his first season with the team.

“I just try to continue to learn as a coach and to get the best from my players,” Cleveland said. “I am grateful for a fun ride like the one we had.”

The team had more success the previous day, Friday, June 2, where they shutout Sarasota, 7-0.

Ellis and designated hitter Riley Greene each scored two runs, while Grissom, Grabbe and rightfielder Cameron Beams each scored one. Everyone in the lineup reached first base at least once, whether it was through a hit or a walk.

Starter Bailey Wendel pitched a complete game, striking out five batters while allowing four hits.

“I was playing for my team and nothing else,” Wendel said. “That translated on the mound and really motivated me to get the job done.”

While reaching the state championship in back-to-back seasons sets a new precedent for the program, the fact that both ended in a loss hurt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many others took to Twitter in support of the team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eleven seniors on the team graduated on May 22, leaving high school as team members that took the baseball program to new heights.

 

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