ORANGE PARK - Four underclassmen pitchers combined to pitched four shutout innings to lift host St. Johns Country Day to an 11-3 victory over Deltona Trinity Christian Academy in their Region 1-2A …
ORANGE PARK - Four underclassmen pitchers combined to pitched four shutout innings to lift host St. Johns Country Day to an 11-3 victory over Deltona Trinity Christian Academy in their Region 1-2A quarterfinal on Fri., May 7. The Spartans will host Jacksonville University Christian in the regional semifinal on May 12.
“We really wanted to use this as an opportunity to get our young guys some experience as to what playoff baseball is like,” said SJCD head coach Tom Lucas. “They threw strikes-- that was great.”
Only one Eagles batter reached base against sophomores Isaiah Mamea and Jacob Thomas and freshmen Kody Daneault and Trevor Bradley, who each pitched one inning. None of the pitchers needed more than eleven pitches to get their three outs. Lucas was particularly impressed with Mamea, who had tailing movement on his fastball.
“Mamea throws it pretty hard, in the 87-88 mile per hour range, so he has got a chance to be pretty special,” Lucas said.
The young hurlers were supported by strong defense. SJCD played an errorless game. Left fielder Luke Shannahan positioned himself perfectly for a carom off of the wall on a deep drive by Trinity Christian’s Carter Oglageo, and his strong throw to second base limited Ogegeo to a single. Third baseman Tyce Moore scooped up a chopper and made a difficult throw to second base, starting a 5-4-3 double play that ended the game.
Finn Howell was the offensive star of the game. The Spartans’ leadoff man doubled and scored in the first inning as the hosts grabbed a 2-0 advantage, and then hit a two-run homer in the third as the Spartans extended their lead to 9-3. The University of North Florida commit scored three runs. Tyce Moore drove in two runs for SJCD. The Spartans’ recent power parade continued. Shannahan, batting eighth in the order, hit his sixth roundtripper in the fourth inning to produce the game’s final two runs. With two long balls Friday, SJCD has hit 10 home runs in its three playoff games.
“We feel like our advantage over most teams is that we are very deep,” said Lucas. “All the way from the leadoff down to the nine hole, every one of these guys is going to play college baseball.”
The Eagles scored all of their runs in the third inning off of Spartans starter Jace Thomas. Gio Camara drove in Reilley Oglageo with a single to left field and scored on Dominick McDermott’s home run. Thomas pitched three innings, allowing three runs while striking out four