It is be an all-Cape battle for the District 6A-13 baseball title on Friday night at South Fort Myers.
The Ida Baker Bulldogs (19-5) blanked district host South 3-0 Wednesday night in the semifinal round for a shot at Island Coast in the district championship. Island Coast rolled past Fort Myers 11-1 in the first semifinal.
"I think that's kind of the way we wanted it, both sides," said Baker coach Bob Vandeventer of Friday's showdown their crosstown rival. "It's a good rivalry. We've got a lot of respect for them, and you know, we've got to go through the toughest teams to reach our goal of a district title."
Senior left-hander Sean Brady pitched a shutout for the Bulldogs, but the game was decided with South Fort Myers in the field. The Wolfpack (17-8) committed four errors and added a pair of wild pitches and a passed ball, leading to all three Baker runs.
"We got guys in motion at first and third, got the passed ball - I think the catcher came up too early with the guy stealing, and it got by. We got lucky," Vandeventer said. "We win and we move on."
The game was scoreless going into the bottom of the third, when No. 2 seed Baker mounted a two-out rally. Isaac Streunse and Ryan Erhardt hit back-to-back singles.
A wild pitch put runners on second and third, then a passed ball led to two runs. Streunse (2-for-3) scored on the passed ball, and Erhardt came home on an ensuing throwing error.
Zack Nason (2-for-3) scored a run for the Bulldogs in the fifth. He doubled, was sacrificed to third and came home on a dropped pop-up.
"A wild pitch and two errors cost us three runs," South Fort Myers coach Chip Duncan said. "That was the difference in the game."
South got two runners on in the top of the first inning against Brady, but couldn't score. He didn't allow another runner past second base all night.
"We swung the bats good against this guy," Duncan said. "I think we got more hits off him tonight than he's given up all year in a game. We didn't strike out that much tonight. We put the ball in play. Hats off to Baker. They made a lot of good plays and didn't make any mistakes."
Brady gave up five singles and didn't walk a batter while striking out 10.
"Sean's done that all year for us. He's just been lights out all year so every time he's in there we're going to be in the game," said Vandeventer.
South FM 000 000 0 - 0 5 4
Ida Baker 000 210 x - 3 6 0
W - Brady. L - Ramon.
2B - Nason (IB).
Island Coast 11, Fort Myers 1: A 10-run third inning propelled Island Coast into the championship game of the District 6A-13 tournament.
The top-seeded Gators (15-8) routed Fort Myers 11-1 in five innings in Wednesday's semifinals.
In Friday's championship match, Island Coast faces No. 2 seed Ida Baker, a 3-0 winner over South Fort Myers.
The Gators led 1-0 when they sent 13 batters to the plate in the bottom of the third, an eruption that was capped by Kameron Gellinger's grand slam home run to right. The Gators had seven hits and two walks in the inning, and were aided by a pair of Fort Myers errors.
"The top of the order came out a little bit cold and the bottom of the order picked us up," said Gators coach Clint Montgomery. "So the top of the order got rolling. In playoff baseball you've got to get contributions from someone different each night."
Quinn Bourque, making only his second start for the Gators, pitched all five innings. He gave up one run on two hits. He walked one and struck out one.
"Pitching-wise we have been running out of depth," Montgomery said. "We've had a couple of injuries to our pitching staff. Bourque stepped in there and gave us five innings. Now we've got (F.T.) Corso for Friday."
Christian Diaz hit two doubles and drove in a run for the Gators, while Josh Moody was 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
Fort Myers (9-19) went 0-8 in district play, but defeated Riverdale Tuesday in the opening game of the tournament.
"We got there (to the district final)," Montgomery said. "Now we've got to finish the deal."
Ft. Myers 00 0 10 - 1 2 2
Isl. Coast 01(10) 0x - 11 10 2
W - Bourque. L - Winter.
2B - Moody (IC).
HR - Gellinger (IC).