Posted: 4:59 pm Friday, May 18th, 2012

Baseball: Preview for Atlantic-Venice Class 7A state semifinal 

By Matt Porter

Atlantic is two wins away from its first baseball state title. The Eagles need to beat Venice on Saturday to continue the journey. Here’s a preview of the game:

Atlantic's Kyle Blank (11) celebrates with teammates in their win over Davie-Nova. (Josh Ritchie/Sun-Sentinel)

Atlantic's Kyle Blank (11) celebrates with teammates in their win over Davie-Nova. (Josh Ritchie/Sun-Sentinel)

Class 7A state semifinal
Atlantic (22-7) vs. Venice (22-8)

1 p.m. Saturday at Digital Domain Park, Port St. Lucie

How Atlantic got there: District 14-7A champions. Beat Forest Hill, West Boca Raton and Davie-Nova in regionals.

How Venice got there: District 11-7A runner-up. Beat Martin County, Bradenton-Manatee and Tampa-Gaither in regionals.

About Venice: 2007 state champs are currently ranked No. 1 in Class 7A by MaxPreps … Pitching-rich Indians have seven shutouts … Beat Martin County (26-2) in the quarters thanks to a four-hitter from juniors Tyson Albert and submariner Cooper Hammond (9-1, 0.72, 62 K in 48 innings) … Senior pitcher Kevin Guthrie is son of former MLB pitcher Mark Guthrie.

Atlantic’s starting lineup

No. – Player – Pos. – Yr. — Comment

Beltran

Beltran

11 – Kyle Blank – Sr. – LF – Table-setter began team’s ‘Play in May’ slogan
2 — Jesse Kieffer — CF — Jr. – Strong defensive center fielder with speed. Batting .309
18 — Rigo Beltran — LHP — Sr. – Daytona State commit is team’s MVP and co-captain
15 — Brad Myott – C — Jr. – Co-captain batting .386, 28 RBIs with just five strikeouts
20 — Cody Bryant – 1B – Jr. – Doubles hitter batting .362 and is solid RHP
13 – Daniel Metz – 3B – Jr. – Surprised coaches with strong defense and hitting (.303)
17 — Joey Ohannesian — RF –Soph. – Left-hander batting team-high .391 with 11 doubles
1 – Chris Brown – 2B – Sr. – Steady and versatile in the field, capable at the plate
8 – Bobby Bourque – SS – Jr. – Outstanding defensive shortstop batting .315
* * *
12 – Sam Bergida – LHP – Sr. – Fastball-curveball pitcher with 9-1 record and 1.62 ERA
16 – John Clarke – RHP – Sr. – Reliable reliever has team-high five saves
3 — Jake Wallin — IF/P — Jr.
4 — Bruce Thomas — C/OF — Jr.
5 — Joel Perez — OF — Jr.
6 — Stefan Rolle — PR/OF — Jr.
10 — Nick Cortese — Fr.
Coach: Steve Wilson (second year, 32-21). Assistants Rick Swearingen, Nick Delucia, Will Durgin.