LAKELAND — David Heintz pitched seven solid innings Friday night and Bishop McLaughlin booked its first trip to a region final in any sport.
The Hurricanes took advantage of Lakeland Christian's poor night on the mound to prevail 8-4 in the Class 2A region semifinals.
LCS gave Bishop McLaughlin 12 free passes (nine walks, three hit batters) before the Hurricanes secured their first 20-win season in the program's five-year history.
Now the Hurricanes get to host a region final next Friday against Shorecrest.
They can thank Heintz for staying tough on the mound and keeping a dangerous Vikings lineup in check despite not having his best stuff on seven days of rest.
"He went out there and got us a 'W' in the regional semifinals vs. a very good hitting baseball team," Hurricanes coach Nick Rodriguez said.
Bishop McLaughlin got plenty of offense as well.
It took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by Heintz and pushed its advantage to 4-1 in the third thanks to RBI walks by Cy Beermann, Alex Pumo and a throwing error by LCS.
The Hurricanes took a 7-3 lead into the bottom of the sixth on a two-run single by Pumo and added their last run on a wild pitch by LCS left-hander Corey Stump in the eighth.