Make us your home page
Instagram

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 High reaches state baseball final

PORT ST. LUCIE — After waking up at 6 a.m., the Brandon baseball team stumbled through its pregame fielding warmups. Three straight singles by the first three Eagles batters resulted in zero runs in the top of the first. And then three fielding errors in the bottom half of the inning led to four unearned runs.

But that was just the first inning. And slowly but surely, the Eagles (20-8) rebounded, collecting a total of 13 hits, seven stolen bases (on seven attempts) and one spot in the Class 7A state title game with a 7-4 win over New Smyrna Beach on Saturday.

In the 98-year history of Brandon High, the Eagles have only reached the title game twice (1990, 1995). At 4 p.m. today, they will have their chance to win the program's first state championship.

The key to Saturday's comeback, coach Matt Stallbaumer said, was the Eagles' ability to steal bases at will.

"We're not built to fall behind," Stallbaumer said. "The opposing team allowed us to get into scoring position without wasting an out. We did not have to waste one single out to get those guys into scoring position, which really allowed us to get some multiple runs."

New Smyrna Beach (17-12) lost its regular starting catcher, sophomore Jed Tylutki, before the start of the region tournament when he suffered a compound fracture of his finger off the baseball diamond ("We had talked about it all year, once we started baseball season, not to do anything off the field that could hurt us, and it was a situation where we weren't very mature," Barracudas coach Nick Regilio said). Senior Chris Scarcello, who had no previous varsity catching experience, took Tylutki place.

And Brandon took advantage. Branden Wilborn, running for Adam Sass, even swiped a base on a designed pitchout.

The Eagles tied it with three unearned runs in the fourth inning and took the lead in the fifth on an RBI single by Michael Caballero.

Meanwhile, after throwing 26 pitches in the first inning (and catching a glimpse of Eric Hinostroza warming in the bullpen), Chris Toney threw just 51 over the next six innings and didn't give up any hits after surrendering two in the first.

"I was a little heated after they booted those two balls," Toney said of the back-to-back fielding errors Brandon committed in the first. "But I knew I had to get through it."

Brandon High reaches state baseball final 05/19/12 [Last modified: Saturday, May 19, 2012 8:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rookie Kendell Beckwith pleased with first Bucs practice

    Bucs

    Bucs rookie linebacker Kendell Beckwith is eight months and a week removed from November surgery to repair a torn ACL, so there was a proud sense of accomplishment in getting himself healthy enough to be on the field for the opening practice of training camp Friday.

    Bucs inside linebacker Kendell Beckwith (51) defends tight end Cameron Brate (84) during the first day of training camp. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Criticism part of the game for Bucs' Gerald McCoy, who is chasing 'ghosts'

    Bucs

    Who crossed the line with their criticism of Gerald McCoy?

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy jokes with teammates during the first day of training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, July 28, 2017.
  3. 2-year-old girl shows football team how its done

    Sports

    ST. PETERSBURG — Football players may dread summer workouts, but not two-year-old Sophie Rosendale. She loves joining her father, St. Petersburg offensive line coach Mike Rosendale, three times a week for the Green Devils summer conditioning. Not only does she shout encouragement like her dad, she also straps on …

    Sophie Rosendale, 2, front, warms up with offensive lineman during practice at St. Petersburg High School, Wednesday. Rosendale is the daughter of offensive line coach Mike Rosendale. "She has been coming to practice for about one year," said Rosendale who has been a coach at the the school for 10 seasons. "She likes to show the players the proper techniques." [Photo/  Mike Rosendale]
  4. Rays add another piece to bullpen, acquiring RHP Steve Cishek for Erasmo Ramirez

    Blogs

    The Rays made another deal to change the look of their bullpen, acquiring RHP Steve Cishek from the Mariners for RHP Erasmo Ramirez.

    Cishek, 31, has a 3,15 ERA and .183 opponents average in 23 games for the Mariners this season after returning in mid-May from October hip surgery, and after allowing three runs …

    Steve Cishek has a 3.15 ERA in 20 games for the Mariners this season after returning in mid-May from off-season hip surgery.