The third time was the charm for the Mariner Tritons.
Having lost two tightly contested regular season games to crosstown rival Cape Coral, it was the Tritons' turn Thursday night when it counted the most with the District 5A-12 championship at stake. The Tritons responded with a 5-4 victory at Cape.
"I couldn't be more proud of them," said Tritons coach Tom Woodley. "We played well, we focused on hitting the ball the other way and we have a full roster now. This is a good group. We just need to stay focused and take it one game at a time from here."
The district championship earns the Tritons (15-11) the right to host a Region 5A-3 quarterfinal playoff game on Wednesday against the loser between Lemon Bay and Hardee County to be determined on Friday. The district's top seeded Seahawks (20-5) must go on the road Wednesday for their regional quarterfinal against the Lemon Bay-Hardee district champion.
Tritons starting pitcher Tim Watters (4-3) pitched 2 1/3 innings to pick up the win. He allowed four runs on four hits, but only two of them earned. Herb Chappell relieved Watters in the third inning when the Seahawks cut the Tritons' lead to 5-4. Luis Ferrer pitched the final two innings, striking out two, to earn a save. Chappell and Ferrer combined allowed no runs on three hits.
Michael Laborde led the Tritons' offensively Thursday, swatting three base hits, including a double, and scoring a run. Logan Hanick and Victor Marrero added two hits and a double apiece with Marrero driving in two runs. Ferrer also collected two hits and drove in a run. The other Tritons run scored on a wild pitch.
Region 5A-3: Key hits in key situations proved to be the deciding factor Thursday night as Cape Coral outslugged Lemon Bay 12-10 in the Region 5A-3 quarterfinals.
The win advances the Seahwks (17-8) to the region semifinal round Tuesday night at Hardee County, which eliminated Lely 10-3.
Makenzie Buss led the Seahawks on the mound and at the plate. Buss (16-5) earned the win and drove in four runs with a triple and a home run. Mallory Gerrero, Cheyenne Krolczyk, Carly Vilardi and Heather Dubay each contributed two hits and combined for five RBI. Gerrero tripled while Krolczyk and Dubay had doubles.
"Our offense was awesome tonight," said Seahawks first-year coach Joelle Frantz. "It was a close game throughout."