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Holding a 2-0 lead, the error-stricken Wolves give up seven runs in the bottom of the sixth.
By SCOTT PURKS
Published May 17, 2007
[Times photo: Kathleen Flynn]
Newsome head baseball coach Chad Haschel, right, talks with pitcher Matt Greer after their loss to Port St. Lucie in the Class 5A state baseball semifinals at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota.
SARASOTA - Two outs, bases loaded, bottom of the sixth inning in Wednesday's Class 5A state semifinal. All Newsome needed was one more out and it would head into the seventh inning with a 2-0 lead over Port St. Lucie. On the mound, Newsome starter Matt Greer looked like he had enough in the tank to complete the job.
One more out.
Into the batter's box stepped senior Max Scarogni, pinch hitting for the ninth batter in the order - the same Max Scarogni who came into Wednesday's game with a .111 average and without an at-bat since the district tournament started almost a month ago.
A few moments later Scarogni nubbed a ball in the turf, Newsome third baseman Kyle Copack charged it, scooped it, almost collided with the runner from second, and threw under the glove of first baseman Jake Farley.
The ball bounded into the first-base side fence. Two runs scored.
"I think a good throw would have gotten me, " said Scarogni, who was awarded a hit on the play. "But I wasn't thinking about the throw. I was running as fast as I could."
The next hitter sent a bullet to Newsome shortstop Stephen Branca, who said he "watched it right into my glove but then, I don't know. I missed it."
It skittered into centerfield and two more runs scored.
Port St. Lucie followed with a triple and a couple of doubles and left the inning leading 7-2, which was the final score.
It left Newsome (23-9), the only baseball team from Hillsborough County to reach the state final four, reeling with what it might have done in only the school's fourth year of existence.
"You go into the sixth inning with a 2-0 lead thinking all you need is six more outs and you're in the state final, " Newsome coach Chad Haschel said. "At that point you're feeling pretty good about things. Then we gave them an inch and they took a mile."
For Haschel, who had coached his last game after taking a job as Brandon High's assistant principal for student affairs in March, it was time to impart some perspective.
"This team is one that bounces back, " Haschel said. "They've proven that over and over. They'll get over this and they'll be back playing hard next year."
This season the Wolves they finished as runnersup in the prestigious Saladino Tournament, a region champion (beating Bloomingdale, which had defeated it four previous times this season), and ...
"Well, " Haschel said, "if not for a couple of mistakes ... one bad inning ... things could have been a lot different."
Wolves AB R H BI Jaguars AB R H BI
Osenton 2b 3 1 1 0 Moesch 2b 4 1 0 0
Lovell rf 2 0 1 0 M. McGee p 4 1 1 1
Branca ss 3 0 1 0 Durden ss 3 1 2 1
Greer p 3 0 1 1 S. McGee c 4 0 2 1
McGuire pr 0 1 0 0 Hunter pr 0 0 0 0
Copack 3b 3 0 2 1 Forbes 3b 3 1 0 0
Swindell c 3 0 0 0 Prine cf 3 0 2 0
Jackson cf 3 0 1 0 Rudd rf 3 1 1 0
Pachoud dh 3 0 1 0 Guadreau 1b 1 1 0 0
Farley 1b 3 0 0 0 Dgirolm lf 2 1 0 0
Parker lf 0 0 0 0
Scarogni ph 1 0 1 1
Totals 26 2 8 2 Totals 28 7 9 4
Newsome 000 200 0 - 2 8 3
Port St. Lucie 000 007 x - 7 9 1
E - Branca, Copack 2. DP - Port St. Lucie 1. LOB - Newsome 4, Port St. Lucie 7. 2B - Greer, Durden 2, S. McGee. 3B - M. McGee. SB - Jackson, Durden.
Newsome IP H R ER BB SO
Greer L 7-3 5M 8 7 1 3 5
Parker L 1 0 0 0 0
Port St. Lucie IP H R ER BB SO
M. McGee W 10-1 7 8 2 2 0 8
HBP - by Greer (Guardreau) 2. WP - Greer, M. McGee 2. T - 1:45.