TRINITY — It’s no secret that when Osceola starter and top draft prospect Keith Weisenberg leaves, so do the Major League Baseball scouts.
But Buddy Dougherty, who in addition to being the No. 2 starter is pretty much the designated closer when Weisenberg pitches, doesn’t take it personally.
“Yeah, I notice it,” he said, “but it doesn’t matter.”
At first sight of Dougherty heading to the mound Wednesday night, all the radar guns were hurriedly packed up and the notebooks tucked away in back pockets. But not before scouts were treated to a home run, single and double by the Warriors third baseman, leading the way in a 3-0 victory over Mitchell in a battle of district unbeatens.
What the scouts missed was two innings of hitless relief by Dougherty, who struck out two and earned his fourth save of the season, all in victories by Weisenberg.
“Buddy is a key part of what we do,” said Osceola coach Stefan Futch, whose squad improved to 14-3 overall and 3-0 in Class 6A, District 10. “He closes big games, he starts, he gives us good senior leadership and he came through for us tonight with the bat big time.”
The guy the scouts did show up to see wasn’t so bad either. Weisenberg, a 6-foot-4 righty and Stanford commitment, didn’t have his best stuff, but it was plenty good to beat the Mustangs (11-7).
In five innings and a little more than 70 pitches, the Warrior allowed just two hits (one a double to center by FSU commitment Cobi Jones) while walking two and striking out seven.
Weisenberg (6-1) said he felt “not great” against the Mustangs and a high mound led to him keeping some pitches up, but he threw between 89-91 mph and never seemed in any trouble.
“Very workmanlike for him,” Futch said.
Mitchell, now 2-1 in the district, had runners in scoring position every inning against Weisenberg, but the Mustangs were 0-for-9 in those situations and finished with seven runners stranded.
Osceola will play East Lake tonight in a game in which both coaches have agreed to play only freshmen and sophomores. Pinellas County does not allow junior varsity baseball.