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's 16-game win streak is snapped

BY EDUARDO A. ENCINA

SARASOTA - During the 16-game winning streak Brandon brought into the Class 5A state semifinals, the young Eagles didn't believe they could be beat.

But in the end, it took just one inning to take the Eagles out of their game. Facing a senior-laden Dunedin team, doubt crept in early, and Brandon couldn't mount one more rally, falling to the Falcons 16-3 in seven innings.

Over the past six weeks, this team - which starts seven sophomores - put Brandon baseball back on the map. They had people talking about the future. But on Wednesday night, nothing hurt like the present.

"Everything seemed to be going their way," said sophomore Roderick Shoulders, his eyes red and fighting back tears. "All the hard balls we hit right at somebody. Theirs went in the gaps, went over the fence. Nothing broke our way."

Dunedin (25-6) hit three towering homers off Brandon starter Austin Browder, including two in a six-run second inning that killed Brandon's will. Pitcher Max Kreuter - who threw six innings of four-hit ball to run his record to 13-0 -- helped his own cause with a three-run homer and two batters later, Jake Rogers added a two-run shot, giving the Falcons a 6-2 lead.

"That lead was the difference," senior designated hitter Clay Kollenbaum, who drove in a team-high five runs and homered in the fifth. "It's what led to the final score. We don't have that inning, it's a different ballgame."

Brandon (25-7) walked nine and hit two batters.

"The walks killed me," said Browder, who allowed eight runs on four hits in 4 1/3 innnings. "Half of that would have been fine, but six walks are ridiculous."

For the rest of the night, Brandon chased the Falcons. Brandon stranded the bases loaded in the sixth. Catcher Michael Smith's shot to center would have been a homer at Don Powell Field, but was just a warning track fly out.

After Brandon had runners on first and second in the third, the Eagles advanced just one runner past first for the rest of the game. And even then - when Chris Bradford doubled in the seventh and was picked off the base making a turn for third - nothing came of it.

"We were as ready as we've been," Brandon coach Matt Stallbaumer said. "It just didn't go our way. And when it didn't go our way, there was a little panic button that was hit for the first time in a long time."

Yes, they are young, graduating just one senior starter, but it served as little consolation Wednesday night.

"I think we got into our own heads," Smith said. "I had no idea it would be like this. I just thought we'd come out here and take care of business. This is no way to end a season. Yeah everybody but one team ends the season with on a loss, but we should be that one team that doesn't."

Brandon's 16-game win streak is snapped 05/15/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 1:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  4. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State

    College

    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.
  5. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.