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)

Loss at state didn't diminish Armwood's record baseball season

Disappointed Armwood Hawks teammates Ty Pierson and Billy Farrell sit in the dugout after losing 4-2 to the Chiles Timberwolves in their semifinal game on Monday at Port St. Lucie.

JEREMIAH WILSON | Special to the Times

Disappointed Armwood Hawks teammates Ty Pierson and Billy Farrell sit in the dugout after losing 4-2 to the Chiles Timberwolves in their semifinal game on Monday at Port St. Lucie.

PORT ST. LUCIE — In the aftermath of Armwood's miscue-filled 4-2 loss to Tallahassee Chiles in Monday's FHSAA Class 5A state semifinal, the Hawks hope to emerge a better team.

Armwood just completed its best season in school history: a 22-5 record, its first district championship in 20 years and its first trip to the state tournament.

But the way the Hawks' season ended was anything but memorable. Armwood baserunners were picked off four times, another time caught trying for an extra base. The Hawks grounded into two inning-ending double plays and committed two defensive errors.

"If we had played our best game and we lost, it wouldn't feel so bad," Armwood coach Mike Wrenn said. "There were a lot of different things that went on that really hurt us. If that didn't happen, there wouldn't be all the 'What ifs?' "

The game turned ugly in the fifth. First a Chiles runner slid hard into catcher Josh Spano in the top of the inning. Then Spano was ejected after he collided with the Chiles catcher in the bottom of the inning. Both dugouts cleared after the plays.

Still, Armwood had the game-tying run on second base in the seventh until Chiles ended the game by picking off the lead runner at third.

This year might have been the Hawks' best chance to win a state title. Senior pitcher Robert Benincasa (12-1), an FSU recruit, emerged to become one of the top pitchers in the county, and fellow seniors Joe Cartwright (team-leading 33 RBIs) and Kristian Calibuso, who had several timely hits and a solid glove at third, will leave a void.

"We're going to lose a lot in our five seniors," Wrenn said. "It won't be easy."

But a talented junior class headlined by shortstop/pitcher Zack Powers (.471 average, 6 homers, 5-1 record, 1.92 ERA) and first baseman Tyler Alexander give the Hawks hope that this year won't be a fluke.

"Hopefully the juniors will keep that bitter feeling, and it can drive them going into the summer and fall to prove we are better than what we showed," Wrenn said.

It didn't end the way the Hawks has hoped, but Wrenn hopes the best season in Armwood baseball history will hopefully be a stepping stone for future success.

"This is the first Armwood team to make it to the final four," Wrenn said. "Being one of the last four teams in the state is an accomplishment. And we were there until the end. I would hope this makes us better. They know what this is like now. They've experienced it."

Loss at state didn't diminish Armwood's record baseball season 05/28/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 28, 2009 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. State baseball: Bishop McLaughlin bows out of Class 3A semifinals


    FORT MYERS — One inning into Bishop McLaughlin's Class 3A state semifinal against Fort Myers Canterbury, things could not have gone much better for the Hurricanes. They grabbed a quick one-run lead and Canterbury ace Sam Keating was forced out of the game with a nagging neck injury.

     Chris Berglund (18) of Bishop McLaughlin, at bat during second inning of the FHSAA class 3A semi-final on Friday May 26, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Canterbury, Fort Myers, defeated Bishop 7 to 4. Canterbury will play in the 3A championship tomorrow.
  2. Bucs WR DeSean Jackson knows only one direction: full speed ahead


    TAMPA — DeSean Jackson is the "1."

    Actually, Jackson, the Bucs' latest weapon for quarterback Jameis Winston, with his blazing speed and game-changing splash plays, wears No. 11 in games.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  3. Video preview: Rays open tough road trip facing Twins tonight


    After splitting a four-game series against the Angels to wrap up a winning homestand, the Rays tonight open a nine-game, 10-day roadtrip with the first game of the weekend series with the Twins:

  4. For starters: Rays, Archer take on surprising Twins to open road trip


    UPDATE, 4:11: Interesting that Bourjos is not in lineup vs. LHP Santiago and lefty swinger Dickerson is, but Twins LH starter Hector Santiago has allowed a .500 average (13-for-26) to lefties, but .210 (35-for-167) to righties.

    Here is the Rays lineup:

  5. Hard to believe NFL overtime change is about player safety


    If someone's house was engulfed in flames, would you hand him a fire extinguisher?

    Of course not.

    Fans await the beginning of overtime between the Patriots and Falcons in Super Bowl LI in February. [Associated Press]