Posted: 11:10 am Friday, May 17th, 2013
By Matt Porter
FORT MYERS — The best season in Jupiter High baseball history ended Friday in the Class 8A state semifinals against Altamonte Springs-Lake Brantley. The Warriors lost 4-0, falling victim to one mistake-filled inning and some strong pitching from Lake Brantley ace Mitchell Jordan.
Welcome to JetBlue Park, spring training home of the Boston Red Sox and the site of the FHSAA baseball state championships. We’ll have live updates today as Jupiter faces Altamonte Springs-Lake Brantley in a Class 8A state semifinal.
We’re scheduled for a 1 p.m. start and the weather is hot, hot, hot. Temperatures are expected to reach 90, with moderate humidity, calm winds and no chance of rain. Pretty nice for baseball.
Jupiter (23-4) is on a historic run, having won the first regional semifinal and regional championship in its 50-year history (read more about that here and here). The Warriors’ core has played together since grade school, which is rare these days. Click here to read a story about that, and watch the video below.
Jupiter is expected to start senior lefty Scott Danek (7-0, 1.23, 35 strikeouts in 46.2 innings). The Warriors like to use everyone; of the six main pitchers, all but one (Hunter Halsey) has started, and all but one (Brandon Keithley) has recorded multiple saves. Danek, however, has thrown Jupiter’s only complete game of the season, which he did in the regional semifinals against Seminole Ridge.
Before this season, Lake Brantley (25-5) hadn’t made the playoffs since 2009. That year, the Patriots reached the state semifinals. In 2008, they won it all. Today, they’re expected to start senior right-hander Mitchell Jordan (10-1, 1.01 ERA, 4 shutouts, 96 strikeouts, 11 walks in 76 innings). He has signed with Stetson. If he gets in trouble, sophomore Bryce Tucker (6-1, 1.75) or seven others could get the call. Lake Brantley’s staff has a 1.60 ERA and a 205-to-46 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The winner meets Plant City-Durant in the 8A state final, which is 7:35 p.m. Saturday. Durant beat Hialeah-American in today’s 10 a.m. semifinal.
LAKE BRANTLEY (25-5)
SS – Damon Haecker – 7
LF – Logan Warmoth – 8
CF – Carl Chester – 11
3B – Zach Kreider – 24
RF – Logan Blum – 5
DH – Nick Knarr – 25
2B – Tate Blackman – 4
1B – Dalton Cuff – 23
C – Mick Tenny – 15
RHP – Mitchell Jordan – 18
3B – Kyle Vesnesky – 20
2B – Glen Casaceli – 2
C – Logan Heiser – 24
1B – Johnny McCarthy – 21
RF – Pat Walther – 10
LF – Kevin Fry – 1
DH – Lance Fry 5
SS – Kyle Keatts – 6
RF – Peter Sitaras – 4
LHP – Scott Danek – 27
Lake Brantley: Haecker produced six foul balls before grounding out to short. Warmouth took Danek’s second pitch down the third-base line for a double. Chester sac-bunted him to third. Danek got Krider swinging on a curve in the dirt.
Jupiter: Vesnesky singled up the middle. Casaceli sac-bunted him to second. Heiser singled through left side. McCarthy reached on a fielder’s choice, Heiser retired at second. Walther flied to left.
Lake Brantley: Blum reached on an error after bouncing to short. Keatts made a sliding stop, but threw high. McCarthy leaped to grab it and tried to swipe a tag on Blum, but the umpire ruled the runner safe. (UPDATE: This photo, taken by a Jupiter parent, appears to show McCarthy making the tag.) Knarr sac-bunted him to second. Blackman singled, and Blum scored on a hit-and-run. Blackman stole second on an 0-2 count. Terry’s sac bunt attempt toward second squirted through to right field, scoring Blackman. Haecker hit a sharp single to right, moving Terry to second. With both runners going, Warmouth hit a liner to left that scored Terry. Chester’s tapper to short went for an error, scoring Haecker. Ruled a hit in our book, as shortstop Keatts had to range far to get it. Keider grounds to short. Two Jupiter errors and five Lake Brantley hits and it’s 4-0 Lake Brantley.
Jupiter: K. Fry walked. L. Fry hit a sharp single to left. Keatts struck out swinging. Sitaras sac-bunted the Frys to second and third. Vesnesky grounded to third, Krider making a strong throw across the diamond.
Lake Brantley: Hunter Halsey pitching for Jupiter. Danek’s line: 2 innings, 4 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, 4 runs, 0 earned. Blum grounds to short. Knarr grounds to third. Blackman grounds to second. Much better defensive inning for Jupiter.
Jupiter: Casaceli swung through a hard fastball from Jordan, the Stetson-bound right-hander. Heiser flied to right. McCarthy grounded to third.
Lake Brantley: Cuff walked. Tenny sac-bunted him to second. Haecker struck out swinging. Warmouth grounded to second.
Jupiter: Walther singled past a diving third baseman. K. Fry’s pop dropped into right for a single. L. Fry lined out to left. Keatts struck out looking. Sitaras was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with two out. Vesnesky struck out looking at an 0-2 pitch.
Lake Brantley: Chester struck out looking. Krider grounded to short. Blum grounded to second.
Jupiter: Casaceli appeared to be hit by a 2-2 pitch, but was called out for leaning into the pitch. Jupiter manager Andy Mook came out to argue, appearing to show that Casaceli was making his usual step in the interest of swinging. Heiser singled up the middle. McCarthy popped to second. Walther grounded to short, force play at second.
Lake Brantley: Knarr grounded to short. Blackman lined to second. Cuff popped to second. Halsey has allowed one baserunner in four innings of relief.
Jupiter: K. Fry lined to center. L. Fry flied to right. Keatts flied to center. Jupiter has three outs to save its season.
Lake Brantley: Tenny flied to left. Haecker flied to left. Wormouth lined to second. Three pitches, three outs.
Jupiter: Sitaras struck out looking. Vesnesky singled to right. Casaceli struck out looking. Heiser grounded to short.
FINAL: Lake Brantley 4, Jupiter 0.