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Late rally lifts Cardinal Mooney over Verot in district baseball final

Vikings softball team advances to regional final

May 11, 2019
Cape Coral Daily Breeze


FORT MYERS -- Fletcher Reynolds was three outs from history. Bishop Verot was two outs from a district title.

In both instances, it just didn't work out that way.

Dylan Robertson's opposite-field single with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh lifted Sarasota Cardinal Mooney to a 2-1 victory in the District 4A-5 championship game at Bishop Verot.

Reynolds had a no-hitter through six ininngs for the Vikings. That's when fate, in the form of a blister on his left pitching hand, stepped in.

After Reynolds walked the first batter in the bottom of the seventh, then sailed his first pitch wide to the next Cougar, catcher Austin Orme went out to check on his pitcher.

Orme quickly signaled to coach Austin Flores to come get the senior lefty.

"Yeah, he had a blister," Flores said. "You trust a senior, and after the sixth inning he was only at 65 pitches. He was doing a great job and we tried to stick with him, but he just couldn't go any more."

Alex Maurer came in to relieve Reynolds, retiring the first batter he faced. However, a single and an error loaded the bases before Robertson's flare to right allowed Cardinal Mooney to walk off with the win and the 4A-5 title.

Cardinal Mooney was officially the home team on Bishop Verot's field Saturday as the top seed in District 4A-5, including two wins against the Vikings during the regular season.

"It's tough," Flores said. "They're our rival, and we had to see them celebrate on our field.

"Our guys are taking it the right way. We came up a little short today, but we came out and competed, we pitched well and played great defense. So we still have a little momentum going into next week" and the Class 4A playoffs.

The only Cardinal Mooney players to reach against Reynolds got on by way of two walks and an error.

For the most part, Reynolds -- who had three strikeouts -- was inducing ground balls and his defense was backing him up.

"That was our strong point at the beginning oft the year," Flores said. "We kind of fell off a little bit. Pitching's done a great job all year. We're still kind of at that point that we need another big hit or two to take the pressure off those guys."

Bishop Verot took a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth. Matt Powell singled with two out, and Andrew Pflieger followed with another single. Scott Edwards ripped a double to score Powell, but Pflieger was caught off base at third to end the rally,

"Our guys were together, they were battling and competing," Flores said. "That's the good part, right there."

Saturday's game, played in the midday heat, was caused by a rainout Thursday evening. The decision was made to wait until Saturday, a choice validated by a second evening of hard rain Friday.

How rare are no-hitters in district title games? That depends on how you classify a no-hitter.

Lynn Haven Moseley's Ryan Pettys won a five-innnng no-hitter against Wakulla in a the District 6A-2 final Thursday, a game shortened by the 10-run rule.

By going six no-hit innings Saturday, Reynolds surpassed Pettys's feat (minus getting credit for a win).

As for the last seven no-hitter for a title, a quick Google check found JoJo Durden's no-hitter for Liberty County against Bozeman in District 1A-4 in 2012. Durden went on to pitch in junior college and at Florida A&M.

The net result is that Bishop Verot will have to hit the road to open the Class 4A state playoffs. The Vikings will make a cross-state trek to Delray Beach American Heritage to face the District 4A-6 champs on Tuesday.

Cardinal Mooney will open at home Tuesday against West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy.



Bishop Verot 5, West Palm Beach King's Academy 4: The Vikings advanced to the Class 4A region championship game with a victory Friday morning at the Sam Fleishman Sports Complex. Bishop Verot (13-12) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, then held off the Lions (16-7) to advance. The game was played Friday morning after heavy rain washed out the original Thursay evening contest. Bishop Verot will travel to West Palm Beach on Tuesday to face Oxbridge Academy (22-4) for a trip to the state tournament at Dodgertown in Vero Beach. Tuesday's game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in West Palm Beach.



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