By Tamas Mondovics
With a 6-1 victory over the Orlando Timber Creek Wolves, in the 8A-Region 2 final, Cougars (24-5) baseball led by program head coach Butch Valdes, earned the school’s first ever berth in the state semifinals.
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.
The home game was the Cougars third time reaching the regional finals in schools’ history hoping for a good fortune.
“As they say, third time is the charm,” Cougars senior starter Chaz Fowler said just minutes before the game began, while added that the game, although a major achievement for the program and a stepping stone to reach state, was just like any other.
“I feel great and plan on going out there and throw my game,” Fowler said, adding, “I will take care of the first four innings and will leave the rest to my boy Tyler.”
Fowler was referring to senior Tyler Danish, and as he said after working the first four innings, allowing one run on four hits, while striking out four, Fowler left the rest of the game up to Danish who got the victory, by striking out six while allowing one hit in three innings.
To make things a little sweeter, Danish played his last home game of his high school career, and in the bottom of the sixth, sealed it with his eighth home run of the season.
“This has been a great year for us with everyone working hard to get this far,” Valdes said as he talked about the season, which began with the loss of 11 seniors.
As district champions and first time regional champions, the program is proud of if its season success as it builds on its winning streak of 11 straight games.
Facing Danish was no small task and, at the end, proved to be too much for Timber Creek, the defending champions and a program that won two region championships in the past three years.
Danish hopes to continue with professional baseball career or to attend USF.
For more information about Cougars baseball, visit www.c2cschools.com.