Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brandon falls to Venice in Class 7A baseball championship

PORT ST. LUCIE — It was a remarkable run for Brandon, a team with no college commits or transfers that won 10 in a row to advance to the Class 7A state championship game. Of course the Eagles would have preferred to walk away with the first baseball title in the high school's 98-year history instead of a 4-2 loss to Venice on Sunday, but in the immediate aftermath, coach Matt Stallbaumer marveled at what his team had achieved.

"One unbelievable ride," Stallbaumer said. "They're probably not going to talk about it tonight, but we will all hang this medal in our house and show our kids one day."

Brandon (20-9) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third when Venice shortstop Dalton Guthrie dropped a ball at second, scoring Chris Toney. For the second straight day, though, Brandon committed three errors that led to unearned runs, three on Sunday.

"Instinct takes over, and you just go," Stallbaumer said of the defensive miscues. "After the fact, (if) you hesitate on those situations or you're not ready for it, it kind of jumps up and bites you."

With the score tied 1-1 in the top of the fourth, two walks by Eagles starting pitcher Eric Hinostroza, with a sacrifice bunt and an infield single—one of four in the game for Venice—sandwiched in between, loaded the bases for the Indians. Centerfielder Rex Ingerick drove in one run with another infield single. Two batters later, with the bases loaded and two outs, Brandon third baseman Tyler Raymond bobbled a grounder ,then threw it over the head of first baseman Alex Gittens as Venice (24-8) scored two runs to take a 4-1 lead.

Raymond had an RBI single in the fifth against sophomore Brandon Elmy, who made just his fourth start of the year. That single, one of 18 that Brandon collected in the state tournament (it had no extra-base hits) chased Elmy from the game. Reliever Tyson Albert bounced his first two pitches to the plate. One pitch later, Venice coach Craig Faulkner brought in Cooper Hammond with runners on second and third and one out.

Hammond, with a submarine delivery, had thrown fewer than 60 pitches in 5⅔ innings of relief Saturday but showed no signs of fatigue, striking out four of the nine batters he faced.

"Every pitcher we had seen threw up top," Hinostroza said of the traditional overhand delivery. "We tried to tell our guys to wait back and hit it the other way, but we still got caught up in that little slider that just floated."

Toney, who threw a 77-pitch complete game in Saturday's 7-4 semifinal win, threw 35 pitches in two scoreless innings of relief for the Eagles, who just couldn't wait on Hammond's pitches that come in at around 78 mph.

"I don't know the day before the state final game that's something you can prep for," Stall­baumer said of Hammond.

"That kid is unique."

Venice 4

Brandon 2


State baseball

Where: Digital Domain Park, Port St. Lucie

Admission: $9 per session; parking is $7

TV: Finals on BHSN

On the Web: Follow our live Twitter updates via @LauraHometeam.


Class 3A: Tampa Prep vs. Jacksonville Providence, 10 a.m. Wednesday

Class 3A: Delray Beach American Heritage vs. St. Petersburg Catholic, 4 p.m. Wednesday

Brandon falls to Venice in Class 7A baseball championship 05/20/12 [Last modified: Sunday, May 20, 2012 11:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  2. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis


    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  3. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  4. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …