Warhawks can't recover after Wolfson scores four in the first en route to a 6-2 victory.
By JOHN C. COTEY
Published May 29, 2004
TAMPA - It was just one inning, and the first one at that, but it couldn't have gone much worse for Seminole.
In the top half, the Warhawks ran themselves out of a bases-loaded, no-out potential bonanza. In the bottom half, Jacksonville Wolfson scored four runs.
That turned out to be the final margin of victory Friday, as Seminole fell 6-2 to the Wolfpack in a Class 5A semifinal. The Warhawks, making their second state semifinal appearance in four seasons, finished 26-5 while Wolfson plays for the championship today against Davie Nova.
The Wolfpack considered itself fortunate after a harrowing escape to begin the game. After an error and hit batter put runners on first and second, Rick Nolan laid down a bunt that third baseman Billy Butler fielded and threw in the dirt. Nolan was safe, but Shawn Keill rounded third and, thinking the ball had bounced farther away, tried to score. First baseman Ritchie Lucas quickly scrambled to the ball and fired home for the out.
"All year we've been teaching our kids to be aggressive," coach Scott Miller said. "Give (Lucas) credit. He got up and made the play."
Phil Weylie's bunt single loaded the bases, but Wolfson ace Eric Hurley got a strikeout and groundout to end the inning.
Unlike the Warhawks, Wolfson took advantage of its bases-loaded situation in the first, as Kenny Ford hit a three-run double and later scored to make it 4-0.
"I thought they would get one or two runs off that," said Wolfson coach Scott Marabell of Seminole's start. "When they didn't I just saw the kids faces, so much relief. They were fired up."
Weylie (11-2) settled down, and the Warhawks continued to pressure Hurley. After stranding two runners in the third, Skylar Delgado and Adam Chappie started the fourth inning with back-to-back doubles. Keill drove in a run with a single, and with runners on second and third, Nolan lined hard to leftfield to end the threat.
"I knew I hit it hard, but figured it was right at him," said Nolan, the only remaining player from Seminole's 2001 state titlists.
Seminole also stranded runners on second and third in the fifth as Hurley (15-1) got two strikeouts to close the frame, then needed just six pitches to complete the sixth inning. That left him with more than enough energy to finish off a 107-pitch complete game effort the next inning. For the game, Seminole left 10 runners on.
Wolfson (26-4) chased Weylie in the sixth and added two insurance runs.