Seahawks bounce Bulldogs in district baseball opener
Cape, Cypress Lake were set to meet Tuesday in second round
It was all Cape Coral from start to finish Monday night as the Seahawks baseball team advanced in the 5A District 11 tournament with an 18-3 win over Ida Baker in a shortened affair.
The Seahawks’ (7-17) offense was hot out of the gate, scoring five runs in the first, two in the second and then exploded for nine in the third.
Starter Alex Kolasinski was solid on the mound for Cape, tossing 3 1/3 innings allowing three runs on six hits while striking out two, walking two and hitting two batters.
“They played really well tonight. I can’t be more proud of them,” said Cape head coach Mike Gorton. “It’s playoff baseball, you know that the energy is going to be higher than in the regular season, and they did a great job. All around it was a great team win.”
The first three batters reached for Cape in the bottom of the first before cleanup hitter Orion Powell did just that – cleaned the bases with a triple down the right field line. Wyatt Drury followed up with a single that scored Powell and later on in the inning, Jonathan Kuzmich added an RBI single of his own.
The Bulldogs (4-23) wouldn’t lie low, as they came back with two runs of their own in the top of the second via RBI singles from Jake Ellis and Steven Thompson.
The Seahawks got those two runs back in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a two-out, two RBI single by Jordi Guerrero.
Ida Baker would bring home another run in the third before the home team put the game out of reach in the later half of the inning.
The Seahawks sent 15 batters to the plate and scored nine runs with RBI contributions from Easton Turner (two), Powell, Andrew Friedl, Jordi Guerrero and Allen Guerrero.
Justin Czerniak would single home a run in the fourth before Sophia Mattewson stepped up to the plate and drove home the decisive run with a scorching single up the middle.
It was a complete effort from top to bottom of the Cape lineup, as the 7, 8 and 9 hitters went a combined 7-for-12 with six runs batted in.
“It’s definitely nice to see,” Gorton said. “You want the guys at the bottom of the order to get their piece of the pie as well.”
Gorton was also impressed with the way Kolasinski was able to stay warm during Cape’s long home half of each inning, keeping the game in-check and in control.
“He did great. He had his curveball working for him early on, so that’s definitely a weapon that we use with him,” Gorton said. “He spotted up very well with the fastball and I’m just proud with the long innings that he stayed in the game, because pitchers can get iced up over that time.”
It’s been a tough season for the Bulldogs, who often found themselves down early and having to climb out of a hole.
“We can’t get out of the first inning, that’s been the theme all season,” said Bulldogs head coach Dan Holloway. “You can’t steal, you can’t hit and run, you can’t bunt – you’re just trying to come back and the pressure is on you the whole game. With our team being so young – we’re not there yet. But we’re getting there.”
On the positive side, Ida Baker is a young team that started just three seniors in the field in the defeat and has a roster filled with young talent – most notable being freshman third baseman Matt Moreno.
“We’ll have a little more experience and hopefully a little more competitiveness going into next year,” Holloway said.
Up next for Cape Coral is a date with No. 1 seed Cypress Lake (14-9). The Seahawks take on the Panthers tonight at 7 on the road.
“Hopefully we get another win and another day of sunshine,” Gorton said.
— Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj