Jacksonville Wolfson holds its foe hitless but a high chopper in the seventh sends Davie Nova to the 5A state title game.
By BRANDON WRIGHT
Published May 26, 2005
SARASOTA - Jacksonville Wolfson didn't allow a hit in Wednesday's state semifinal - and Davie Nova won anyway, in an improbable 1-0 victory.
"Both teams played great," Nova coach Pat McQuaid said. "Nobody deserved to lose that one."
Clayton Whitman of Nova (29-1) reached base and moved to second on pitcher Spencer Jones' error to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Michael Duckworth advanced Whitman to third on a sacrifice bunt before Wolfson coach Scott Marabell lifted Jones for Kyle Maulbetsch.
"(Jones) was throwing a no hitter, but he was starting to run out of gas," Marabell said. "I was hoping (Maulbetsch) could get us the strikeout."
But Kevin Nelson chopped a high hopper to drawn-in shortstop Robbie Fountain and Whitman scored before the throw to end the game.
"We showed that we're one of the best teams in the state and we deserve to be here," Marabell said. "And we probably deserve to be playing (today)."
Jones (9-4) struck out eight and walked seven for Wolfson (24-7) and Davie starter Pablo Lopez (5-1) surrendered just two hits and walked one.
"We might have only hit one ball hard all day," McQuaid said. "You have to tip your hat to (Jones) because he pitched a great game."
Arlington Country Day opened Wednesday's action at Ed Smith Stadium with a 6-2 victory over Lakeland McKeel Academy in a Class 2A semifinal.
Country Day (27-4) scored five runs in the top of the first on an error and four hits, including two doubles. It was all the scoring Country Day starter Jason Sowers needed as he earned the complete-game victory, giving up just five hits and walking none.
Country Day plays today at 4 p.m. for the 2A championship, and if the Apaches win it would be their third state title. Country Day won its first title in 2000.
FLORIDA CHR. 3, PORT ST. JOE 2: Miami Florida Christian (28-2) erased a two-run deficit with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to win.
The Patriots got three of their five hits in the seventh and benefited from three errors by the Saints (25-5) in the inning. Stephen Rodriguez scored the winner on an error by centerfielder Travis Burge.
Bryan Morgado (9-1) went the distance for the win, striking out 15.
Blake coach Jackie Brown confirmed that he'll leave his head coaching position at the school. Brown, 2-17 in 2005, said he'd like to remain in coaching in the Hillsborough area. "I thought we were moving in the right direction at Blake," he said. "I was seeing some improvement but the administration wanted to take a different course."
Also, Armwood coach Joey Fernandez announced that former Tampa Bay Tech head coach Brian Morgan will join the Hawks staff next season as an assistant.
- Times staff writer Scott Purks and correspondent Jim Reese contributed to this report.