SEMINOLE — The last undefeated baseball team in the state is no more.
Seminole, winner of 23 straight this season, staged a thrilling rally but lost 6-5 to a Dunedin team in desperate need of starting a streak of its own. The Warhawks (23-1) fell behind 6-1 after three innings, but staged a fourth-inning rally led by a three-run home run by junior leftfielder Michael Carlin, pulling them within a run.
But they could get no more off Dunedin starter Max Kreuter (9-0), who likely became the first pitcher in county history to win three straight PCAC title games.
"I like pitching in this game," said Kreuter, who allowed nine hits in six innings but struck out eight. The Falcons (18-6) turned to Jake Rogers to close the game out.
A pitcher as a sophomore before a arm problems relegated him to full-time duty as a shortstop, Rogers has been eager to return to the hill. He was ready to go in a recent loss against Northeast, but never got the call.
"I think maybe they wanted to get me in a game that wasn't close to start out …but this was fine," said Rogers, one of the top hitting prospects in the bay area.
Rogers struck out leadoff hitter Bryant Gibson and No. 3 hitter Shaun Starnes looking to get the save. Though he has other pitches in his repertoire, he threw nothing but fastballs "because that's all he needed," said coach Tom Hilbert.
Rogers also had a double in the game, scoring on Jamison Sweat's single in the first inning. Clay Kollenbaum followed with a homer to make it 3-0 early. After taking a 6-1 lead, Dunedin was slowed by sophomore Tim Lamoureux, who pitched 4.2 innings in relief and allowed two hits and zero runs while striking out four.