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Tritons fall in rain-shortened regional battle with Cougars

Barron Collier trips Mariner, 4-3

May 15, 2018
By PETE SISK (sports@breezenewpapers.com) , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

A washout is the last thing anybody expected to end the Mariner Tritons' season.

Barron Collier advanced to the Region 6A-3 baseball final Tuesday with a rain-shortened 4-3 victory over the Tritons at Mariner High School.

It was a night far more familiar to Florida high school football fans and teams than to baseball, which ordinarily is held in dry, dry spring weather.

Article Photos

MICHAEL PISTELLA / mpistella@breezenewspapers.com

Mariner junior Barron Northorp looks to the umpire after tagging a Barron Collier baserunner out in the first inning of the Tritons’ game Tuesday night. Left fielder Xzavien Torres supplied the out-producing throw. To view more photos from the game, see our Facebook page.

However, this is not an ordinary May week in the Sunshine State.

The lightning alarm went off with two out in the bottom of the sixth. Rain really only started to set in about half an hour later. After about another 30 minutes, the home plate umpire came out, took a look at the rain-drenched field, and called the game.

Ordinarily, the FHSAA would allow all the time needed to get in a playoff game. However, with week-long rain expected throughout the state, the FHSAA turned to regular-season rules: A game can be called after 4 1/2 innings.

The same rainy conditions led the FHSAA to announce on Tuesday that it would delay the start of the state softball tournament a day.

Play in Vero Beach is now expected to start on Saturday.

Still, as the Tritons sat in their dugout looking out at the muddy field Tuesday night, they weren't ready to call it a night or a season.

"It's very unfortunate," Mariner baseball coach Tom Woodley said. "It's a rule. I understand the rules the way they are. Personally to end a game like this is pretty harsh, especially for these seniors.

"We've been comeback kids for the last three weeks. Playoff games should be finished to their entirety. It's only fair to the kids. That's who we owe it to.

"It's very frustrating."

Mariner took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Gavin Walker's double down the third-base line drove in Alex Freeland, and Wade Williamson followed with a two-RBI single to plate Louis Alberro and Walker. Donnie Goodman also singled to put runners on the corner before Barron Collier pitcher Matt Denove got out of the inning.

The Cougars came right back in the top of the fourth with what would prove to be the winning rally. The first four batters singled, cutting Mariner's lead to 3-1, and a bases-loaded walk then made it 3-2. Jimmy Meredith struck out the next two batters, but another RBI single and an error followed to give Barron Collier its 4-3 lead.

Mariner got two on with nobody out in the bottom of the fifth, but couldn't score.

The Tritons, who started the season 1-7, wound up 16-13 with a district championship and a win in the first round of state before falling Tuesday.

Barron Collier (18-12) will be home against Dunedin on May 22 for the Region 6A-3 title and a berth in the state tournament in Fort Myers.

Friday

Softball

Lake Wales 13, North Fort Myers 3: The Red Knights' season ended a game short of the state Class 6A tournament final four, falling to the Highlanders (17-12) at Lake Wales in Friday's Region 6A-3 championship game. North Fort Myers (24-6) had reached the regional final for the fourth time in five years. Lake Wales faces Plantation American Heritage in the state Class 6A semifinals on May 18 at Dodgertown in Vero Beach.

 
 
 

 

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