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Outcome all too familiar for Wolves

Newsome's defeat bore eerie resemblance to the Wolves' loss in last season's Class 5A, District 8 semifinals.

By JOEY KNIGHT
Published May 17, 2007


SARASOTA - He was counting on amnesia to set in as quickly as his team's five-run deficit did Wednesday afternoon.

Minutes after his team's uncharacteristic, unbelievable 7-2 loss to Port St. Lucie in the Class 5A semifinals, Newsome coach Chad Haschel seemed optimistic his players would forget about what had just transpired by the time the team bus crossed the Manatee River on Interstate 75.

"They're kids, " he said.

But contrary to Haschel's reasoning, short-term memory loss didn't prevail.

Deja vu did.

Newsome's defeat - on Port St. Lucie's seven-run, five-hit, two-error sixth inning - bore an eerie resemblance to the Wolves' 10-inning, 9-8 loss to King in last season's Class 5A, District 8 semifinals.

In both games, the Wolves squandered a lead. In both games, they failed to suppress momentum. In both games, they watched their season end.

"The same occurrences started happening, " said rightfielder Ethan Lovell, whose club blew an 8-0 lead against King in 2006. "Balls started falling that hadn't been falling. It started going the other team's way."

Compounding the pain for Newsome starter Matt Greer was the fact he seemed poised for the biggest win of his life. Through the first 52/3 innings, the Saint Leo signee had scattered four hits, struck out five, walked two and appeared to be strengthening.

In the fifth, he retired the side on six pitches. Roughly an hour later, he was standing outside an Ed Smith Stadium interview room, struggling to ascertain where things had gone wrong - again.

"It's probably going to hurt for a while, " Greer said. "I mean, it still hasn't sunk in yet, but I'm sure it will when we get back on the bus ride home."