Summit Christian, facing potential shutdown, is now on verge of second state baseball title
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
by Matt Porter
Photo by Allen Eyestone /The Palm Beach Post
.Summit Christian head coach John Drouin celebrates with his team after beating Deltona-Trinity Christian 9-3 to advance to the Class 1A state baseball final.
PORT ST. LUCIE -- Summit Christian sophomore left fielder Anthony Delaney knew he was going to get a New York-style tongue lashing from head coach John Drouin if he didn't finally listen.
He had struck out twice, falling behind both times after swinging at the first pitch. When he came to bat in the fourth inning with his team gaining steam, he was determined to take the first pitch ... and nail the next one.
"They were beating me on the outside corner," Delaney said. "I just got it in my head that I just need to hit it."
With one out, Summit leading 3-2 and runners on the corners, Delaney took the first pitch, then ripped an outside fastball from Deltona-Trinity Christian reliever Matty Ferreira to the gap in right-center, sliding into third with a two-run triple. When the relay throw skipped past third, Delaney popped up, raced home and was mobbed by his teammates.
It was part of a four-run fourth that helped Summit (26-5) beat Trinity 9-3 in a Class 1A state semifinal, lifting the Saints to Thursday's state title game against Miami-Brito.
"I believe I told him if he had swung at the first pitch, I would have embarrassed him," joked Drouin, whose team collected 12 hits Wednesday. "He listened when I told him that the end was near."
Summit Christian, the suburban West Palm Beach school that's been facing a shutdown because of finances, has had two straight days of good news. Last night the school learned that a deal with its lender means the school most likely will remain open for at least another year ("I already know that's going to be extended," Drouin said). And now the baseball team is one step closer to its second state championship (they also won in 2004).
"We were struggling, but thank God we're here," Drouin said. "We have some good things happening for us."
They were all-around good Wednesday.
Junior second baseman Chris Carney (1-for-3 with a walk and RBI) made a leaping catch and a running catch in short right in the first two scoreless innings, and senior left fielder Timmy Williams (2-3, walk, RBI) got the first out in the seventh with a running catch in foul territory.
Starter John Costa (10-1) was in command, pitching a complete-game six-hitter with five strikeouts. He gave up two runs in the third on a walk, an error on first baseman Efren Sanchez and an RBI double by Ferreira (2-2, RBI), but Summit went ahead to stay in the bottom half of the inning on a big break.
Williams and junior catcher John Silviano (2-2, RBI) hit two-out singles, and Sanchez (2-3, 2 runs, 2 RBI) hit a soft liner that crossed up right fielder Ryan Thompson, letting Williams and Silviano run all the way home. After a wild pitch and a walk, Carney singled in Sanchez for a 3-2 lead.
"They've always got my back," Costa said.
Trinity first baseman Danny Moritz (2-3) hit an RBI double in the top of the sixth, but the Saints worked reliever Evin Lynch for a bases-loaded walk and an RBI single by Tyler Dupont in the bottom half.
"This was a tough one," Trinity (22-8) coach Bryan Maples said. "If you'd asked me before the game if this would be the outcome, I would have said no, no, no."
For Summit Christian, it's been all affirmative this week. Yes to remaining open another year, yes to winning its state semifinal and, yes, a chance to win another state baseball title.