By FRANK PASTOR and NICHOLAS CARLSON
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 17, 2001
TAMPA -- Cape Coral coach Chuck Isalaco's scouting report on Daytona Beach Seabreeze said the Sandcrabs didn't play for the big inning.
Imagine his surprise, then, when Seabreeze scored five fifth-inning runs to turn a three-run deficit into a 6-4 victory in a Class 4A semifinal Wednesday at Legends Field.
Steven Will's three-run triple gave Seabreeze the lead, and Jason Cavanaugh escaped bases-loaded jams in the sixth and seventh as the Sandcrabs advanced to their first state final.
Seabreeze (27-5) hopes to become the first Volusia County team in 30 years to win a state title tonight at 7 p.m. DeLand won the Class A title in 1961.
"It's great," Will said. "We worked our whole lives to get here. Finally, we're in the big dance. We're excited."
Trailing 4-1 in the fifth, Seabreeze sent nine batters to the plate and came away with five runs, four unearned.
After Randy Pruitt's single cut Cape Coral's lead to 4-2, Cheyne Hurst drew a walk and Ben Hall reached on an error to load the bases.
That brought up Will, whose shot to right-centerfield rolled to the wall. He came home on a Jason Fletcher wild pitch.
Cape Coral threatened in the sixth and seventh, loading the bases in each inning. But Cavanaugh got Ross Coviello to ground out to second to end the sixth and retired David Polinire and David Lamay on fly balls to end the game. -- FRANK PASTOR
BISHOP MOORE 11, GULLIVER PREP 2: Miami Gulliver Prep catcher T.J. Hacker had no problem receiving the ceremonial first pitch from Dwight Gooden at the 3A semifinals. But that was about the only thing that went right for the Raiders, who committed five errors in losing to Orlando Bishop Moore.
"It's like a curse when we get here," said senior shortstop Paco Figueroa, noting the Raiders have lost in the state semifinals the past two years and were runners-up in 1998.
Bishop Moore scored five runs in the second and four in the third courtesy of five Gulliver errors and eight Bishop Moore hits.
"We made a few errors here and there," said Gulliver Prep starting pitcher Sean Watson, who came in with a 1.64 ERA but didn't last past the third inning. "Those errors were costly and got into my mind."
The miscues also gave Bishop Moore momentum.
"When you get up like that, you can just go after hitters," Bishop Moore's Matt Rhodes (10-4) said. "A lead like that relaxes everybody."
Indeed. Offensively, the Hornets teed off like they hadn't done in some time.
"We've been waiting for these guys to unload the bats all year," Bishop Moore coach Dave Wheeler said.
"I've been on the losing end in these situations a few times, and it's real nice to be answering some positive questions after one of these games." -- NICHOLAS CARLSON