BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Spruce Creek has done nothing but win baseball games. The Hawks (17-4) have not lost to an area team and they are 15-2 in games decided by one run or less this season.
“It is what it is. We are a little surprised. Actually, we thought that next year. We are still pretty young but our kids believe that they could beat anybody,” commented Johnny Goodrich, Spruce Creek’s head baseball coach.
Spruce Creek leads a tight race in a brutal district 2-8A, which may be the toughest in all of Florida. DeLand, Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley, Lake Mary, Longwood Lyman, Sanford Seminole, and Oviedo Hagarty also compete in the district.
“Our district is cold handedly the best in Florida. Everyone can beat anyone on any given day. We have seven division I talented pitchers so everyone has a top-notch ace that you could face. Many are committed to top colleges,” responded Goodrich.
‘Pitching and defensive-minded team’
A win over Seminole on April 13 will clinch the top seed for the district tournament.
“We have to take advantage of our opportunities on offense and continue to pitch and defend. If we limit mistakes and don’t give away the freebies we can win it and make a playoff run,” commented Goodrinch.
Pitching and defense with timely hitting has been the key to their success.
“We are a very pitching and defensive minded team. Offensively we have been opportunistic. We have also taken advantage of our opponent’s mistakes,” said Goodrich.
Griffin Fuller (7-1, 0.98ERA) and UCF commit Kyle Marsh (4-0, 0.78ERA) are the Hawks’ top pitchers.
Chris Hopkins (3-1, 1.99ERA), Bobby Loosch (0-1, 1.87ERA, one save) and Andrew Boss (2-0, 0.58ERA, 2 saves) also have had moments.
Austin Hays (.318BA, 1HR, 11RBI’s, 5SB), Zack Spivey (.288BA, 14RBI, 16R, 11SB) and Charlie Sala (.288BA, 13RBI, 6SB) lead the offense.
Casey Bell (.326BA), Thad Adamek (.302BA, 12R, 5SBs), Jordan Brown (.283BA, 8RB’s) and Darrell Whaley (8S’s, 11R) have also picked their spots.
Above all, team camaraderie may be the Hawks’ best asset.
“We have a group of kids that have really been playing together since they were about 10 years old. They all have a good feel for the game. The kids are mentally tough as a group and they stay engaged throughout every situation,” added Goodrich.
Weightlifting: Area lifters qualify for state
Matanzas boys captured the district 3-2A title this past week.
Richard McCune (119 pound class), Chris Santana (129), Matt Whalen (139) and Casey Kronemeyer (154) all won individual titles for the Pirates and automatically qualified for the regional meet.
Shaw White (238) placed second, Les Allen (169), Watson Stevens (183) and Joel Manning (219) each placed third and Jason Cowles (183) was fourth for the Pirates to also qualify.
Atlantic had three individual champions at the district 7-1A championships.
Richard Carr (119), De Andre Lee (129) and Dequan Durden-Johnson (139) each won titles and qualified for regionals for the Sharks.
Spruce Creek’s George Hanna (139) and Zack Johnson (238), New Smyrna’s Luke Belliveau (219) and Brian Hall (169), Seabreeze’s Chris Banks (199), DeLand’s JoJo Kemp (183) and Devon McIntire (119) each won individual titles at the district 3-2A meet.
Thirteen other area lifters finished second to fourth in their classes to qualify for Regionals.
Note: For complete district results, go to www.fhsaa.org.
University-5, Mianland-4; Orlando Edgewater-4, Mainland-2; New Smyrna-3, Seabreeze-2 (8); Trinity-6, University-2; Lyman-6, Creek-5, DeLand-2, Lake Mary-1; Trinity-5, New Smyrna-4; Edgewater-5, Mainland-3 (8); Creek-4, Lake Brantley-1 (8); DeLand-2, Oviedo Hagarty-1; Warner-11, Oviedo Master’s-1; Pine Ridge-8, Taylor-3; Unversity-6, Lopez-5; Taylor-11, St John Lutheran-1.
Prep Sports Seven Baseball
1. Spruce Creek (16-4), 2. DeLand (17-3), 3. New Smryna (11-8), 4. Mainland (12-7), 5. Trinity (9-9), 6. Warner (12-7), 7. Father Lopez (7-7) and Taylor (10-8). Others: Flagler Palm Coast (9-9), Pine Ridge (10-10).
Note: Scores and rankings are as of April 10 at 5 p.m.