After last week’s 3-1 win over Anclote, Gulf’s baseball team leapt in the field and wanted to carry pitcher Marshall Stitt off the field on their shoulders.
Snapping a 30-game losing streak deserved that kind of reaction.
“Big win for the program,” first-year coach Rob Miles said.
It was a win almost two years in the making. Stitt’s complete game, nine-strikeout performance lifted the Buccaneers to their first win since March 19, 2010 – an 11-0 win over Anclote. Gulf finished winless last spring and had only two victories in the last three seasons heading into this season.
The Buccaneers (1-5) struggled early this spring, too, losing their first five games by a combined 50 runs. But Miles said the final scores are misleading. Gulf hung in games early – and led for much of the way in a 4-3 preseason loss to Hudson – but fell apart late.
“The kids just didn’t really understand what winning was like,” Miles said. “We’ve been in every game. We just haven’t pushed it over the edge yet.”
That changed Friday. Gulf put up two runs in the first inning and added another on a delayed steal in the seventh inning. By then, the attitude on the bench was beginning to change.
Miles said the Buccaneers’ rebuilding starts at the bottom. After not fielding a junior varsity team last season, Gulf has 31 players this spring. The JV team entered Monday on a two-game winning streak. That optimism trickled to the varsity dugout.
“It was very exciting for them,” Miles said. “I had to bring them down to ground zero real quick.”