By Tamas Mondovics
With an 8-3 loss in the school’s first-ever state final against Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley, Durant ended its 2013 spring baseball season which also brought an end and to the program’s 12-game winning streak.
Keeping its season-long momentum alive and after a 6-1 victory over the Orlando Timber Creek Wolves in the Class 8A-Region 2 final, Durant (25-6) defeated American High School, and with a 6-0 victory advanced to its first state championship game to face off three-time state champion Lake Brantley at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers.
Unfortunately, the Patriots proved to be too much in their offense for the Cougars and secured their fourth FHSAA Class 8A state championship with an 8-3 victory over the Cougars.
The Cougars managed to score three runs in the fourth and fifth innings, but could not put any more hits on the board.
Lake Brantley added four runs in the third, resulting in Durant trailing 6-0 going into the bottom of the fourth, when they scored their first two runs, and one more again in the fifth on Paxton Sims’ two-out RBI single, pulling within 6-3.
The Cougars plan reportedly included a performance by its senior left-handed pitcher, Chaz Fowler, with a 7-3 record and 1.43 ERA, to keep the Patriots at bay long enough to bring star player, Tyler Danish, to the mound in the fifth. Unfortunately, after allowing five runs on five hits by the third, Fowler, had to admit that things didn’t exactly go the way he planned and had to make room for junior third baseman, Luke Heyer, who reportedly pitched no more than three innings all season.
Lake Brantley did not hesitate to capitalize on the situation and, with Logan Warmouth’s score on a wild pitch from Heyer in the sixth, the Patriots answered back with a run followed by another in the seventh.
The score also added another statistic to the list as Lake Brantley became one of only two teams that scored 8 runs against Durant. The other was Newsome’s 8-1 win in March.
Building its strategy, and the entire season around seniors Chaz Folwer and Tyler Danish, with the support of key players like Luke Heyer and Jake Sullivan, there was little doubt of a negative outcome.
Of course, being the runner-up after a season that began with the loss of 11of its seniors, the Durant baseball program made its fans and community very proud.
For more information about Cougars baseball, visit www.c2cschools.com.