BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Mainland High School is known for its football and basketball programs but this year you can add baseball to the list.
The Buccaneers (12-4) are having one of their best seasons ever, at least in recent years.
“Our team has really matured and grown up this year. We also have good leadership with our six seniors. It also has helped that we have played more schools our size instead of the largest of schools,” said Michael Burton, Mainland’s head coach.
Pitching and defense has been the key for the Bucs.
Senior pitcher Vince Maggio (6-1, 0.48 ERA, 74Ks) and Nick Secor (2-0, 1.16 ERA) lead the Buccaneers on the mound.
“These two guys really go out there and throw strikes. They also throw strikes early,” stated Burton.
Maggio added, “Our pitches have been working and the defense has been backing us up. We have been a more focused team on defense this year.”
Matt Moak (1-2, 1.28 ERA), Tyler Brownell (2-1 2.04ERA) and Colby Landrum (1-0, 0.00 ERA) also have pitched well.
Offensively, Mainland has been getting it done playing small ball.
Adam Rosenberg (.380BA, 12R, 7SB) and Maggio (.350BA, 6RBIs, 7SB) pace the club in hitting.
Justin Duhaime (.324BA), Brownell (.320BA, 6RBIs), Austin Litke (.333BA), and Landrum (.313BA, 14R) have chipped in.
Recently the Buccaneers swept the season series with their archrival Seabreeze beating them 3-2 on March 29 and 2-1 on March 27.
“It was great! Our first sweep of them in school history at least as far back as the administration can remember,” Rosenberg responded.
Rosenberg hit the game-winning triple against Seabreeze on March 29.
”I could have did it or my teammate behind me, but I told him that I would go ahead and end it. I got a good pitch to hit and was able to hit it where no one was,” recalled Rosenberg.
Burton added,” They got to cut my hair after the sweep of Seabreeze. That game had a great atmosphere. We had a real big crowd during our home game at Daytona State College on the 29th – many of the students and faculty were there.”
Mainland also has registered wins over traditionally strong area programs Flagler Palm Coast and Deltona, whom they normally do not beat.
“This is my fourth year here and it’s good to finally have a winning record. It’s a great feeling,” stated Maggio.
The school has really gotten behind the ball club recently.
“It’s great to be getting support that we normally see football and basketball get. We now have a reasonable fan base,” stated Rosenberg.
The Buccaneers (5-1) also are tied for first in their district at this moment with only one loss. District 8-6A includes Mainland, Seabreeze, Pine Ridge, Deltona and Orlando Edgewater.
The Bucs like their chances of reaching the district tournament title game and making the post season.
“If we can just keep our head on and play consistently. We will have to continue to keep pitching well and get timely hitting,” said Burton.
Mainland hosted Edgewater on Tuesday. They play at Edgewater on April 6.
DeLand’s Smith takes Crescent City job
Al Smith, DeLand High’s assistant football coach, is now the head football coach at Crescent City High.
Smith spent the last 12 seasons at DeLand. He started his coaching career at Spruce Creek as an assistant under Rocky Yocam.
He takes over for former Bethune-Cookman player Quintin Lewis who left to become head coach at Tallahassee Rickards.
Middle School basketball schedule
The Middle School basketball season tipped off on April 3. The season will run through May 22. All games are on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The championship game will take place on May 24.
Volusia County has Ormond, Campbell, Holly Hill, Hinson, Silver Sands, Creekside and New Smyrna competing in the East while DeLand, Deltona, Heritage, Southwest, Galaxy and Riversprings play in the West division.
Check schools for schedules and game dates and times.
Father Lopez-15, Warner-1; Pine Ridge-11, Deltona-10 (8); DeLand-5, Lake Brantley-2; Sandalwood-7, Flagler Palm Coast-5; Matanzas-4, University-3; Spruce Creek-1, Lake Mary-0; Mainland-3, Seabreeze-2; Warner-11, Atlantic-1; Trinity-5, Bishop Moore-1; Taylor-8, Ocala Christian-4; University-2, Deltona-1; Spruce Creek-7, DeLand-3; Pine Ridge-11, Deltona-1, DeLand-8, Matanzaz-5; Lopez-12, Jacksonville Cedar Creek-1; Mainland-2, Seabreeze-1; Flagler Palm Coast-9, University-8; Trinity-15, First Coast-10.
Prep Sports Seven Baseball
1. Spruce Creek (15-3), 2. DeLand (14-3), 3. Mainland (12-4), 4. New Smryna (9-6) 5. Warner (11-6), 6. Taylor (9-6), 7. Father Lopez (7-6) Others: Flagler Palm Coast (8-8), Pine Ridge (9-10).
Note: Baseball scores, stats and rankings as of April 2.