SEMINOLE – Gibbs’ long, frustrating losing streak is over.
The Gladiators jumped all over Keswick Christian pitching Thursday for 14 hits and held on to the lead in an 18-11 win. It is the school’s first win since April 1, 2010, against Pensacola Pine Forest and snapped a 49-game losing streak. It’s also the Gladiators' second win in seven seasons.
“That was big for them," first-year coach Kevin Mullins said. “For so many years they have been the laughingstocks. I’m just so proud of them."
Gibbs came close to winning 10 days ago against Admiral Farragut. Trailing 10-5, Gibbs scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning to take an 11-10 lead. But the game was called because of darkness, and the score reverted back to the sixth inning.
Darkness was once again a problem Thursday, but the Gladiators got the final out in the bottom of the sixth on a ground ball to first – with barely enough light remaining to make the game official.
“It’s awesome, awesome," said senior second baseman Grant McCray, who was a freshman on the team when Gibbs last won. “We’ve been through a lot. I credit our coaches for coming over here and fixing a broken team. We’re a much better team now."
The victory doesn’t quite make Gibbs a playoff contender. Tuesday, the Gladiators lost 23-0 to Osceola. Plenty more losses are on the horizon. But for the first time in a long time, Gibbs players got to celebrate a win and slap each other on the back.
“A lot of these kids don’t have much baseball experience," Mullins said. "But we’re trying to build something here, and this is a start."
McCray had one word to sum up what it has been like the past three seasons.
“Tragic. That’s the word I’d use, tragic," McCray said. “A lot of ups and downs, but mostly downs. But it’s a new season. There’s some more wins out there."