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Armwood closing in on state championship baseball game

SEFFNER — At this time of year, the talk about Armwood is typically all about spring football. Who will replace Mywan Jackson at quarterback? Will the defense be as dominant without Petey Smith and Ryne Giddins? Can Armwood bring another state football title back to Seffner?

This year, however, things are a little different.

"It's a great feeling," Armwood baseball coach Mike Wrenn said. "The kids are just ecstatic, and everyone at the school has been behind them 100 percent."

Wrenn's Hawks might be the newest team to add a title to the school trophy case as Armwood continues its quest for the state baseball title at 1 p.m. Monday in Port St. Lucie against Chiles High School from Tallahassee. The winner of that game plays Tuesday at 7 p.m. for the 5A championship.

"We've still got some business to finish," Wrenn said.

This is the farthest a Hawks team has been in the postseason and the players' first trip to Tradition Field. Wrenn, however, is familiar with the stadium.

He played there in the Gulf Coast League Championship while with the Minnesota Twins organization during the 1999 season.

"It's a real nice stadium, as most minor league ballparks are around Florida," Wrenn said.

Wrenn may know about the venue, but he knows little about the opponent. Unlike football, where teams exchange game tapes the week before playing, baseball has no such practice. Armwood and Chiles have no common opponents.

"We're trying to find out anything we can," Wrenn said.

Chiles, unlike Armwood, does not have its statistics on the popular prep Web site maxpreps.com. The Timberwolves do have a team Web site with stats, but you need a password to enter.

"We don't know much about them," Wrenn said. "But we didn't know much about (region final opponent) Hagerty either."

Wrenn has made some calls to fellow coaches in the Tallahassee area. In the meantime, Wrenn gave the team a few days off before returning to practice Tuesday. And although they know little about their opponents, Wrenn said his Hawks will be ready for anything.

"Just like in life, sometimes you might get lemons," he said. "So now we have to decide whether we want to eat sour lemons or make some lemonade."

Fast facts

Scouting

the opposition

Chiles vs. Armwood: Chiles' top pitcher Cole Brown, who will play for Ohio State next year, was lost for the season in the first week with an arm injury. … The Timberwolves have three other players who have signed Division I scholarships for next season. … Chiles has an experienced team with 21 upperclassmen (10 seniors and 11 juniors) on the roster. … Chiles has won a pair of extra-inning games during regionals, including defeating Forest 2-1 in eight innings in the best-of-three finals. … Third baseman Erik Staraces has a pair of home runs in four region games.

Armwood closing in on state championship baseball game 05/21/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 21, 2009 4:30am]
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