The Lely baseball team had a rough start to the season. In a preseason game they lost by the mercy rule, which is a 10-run lead by your opponents in five innings.
They duplicated the fete in their season opener. Then comes Barron Collier, a very good baseball team.
No problem. A team that had given up more than 20 runs in two games, shuts out Goliath, 2-0.
Pitcher Kit Fowler slinged the biggest rocks as he spread out six hits and the defense did not commit an error. He struck our four and walked only one.
The lone runs came in the fourth inning. Leo Soler got on by an error, Fowler singled and Shawn Sanchez slammed a double to the left field fence to plate the runs.
No one could even remember the last time Lely had beaten Barron in baseball. It’s been at least 10 years. None of the seniors on this team had come close.
Fowler was determined to win. The last time he pitched against Barron was last spring when he gave up two monstrous home runs and the Cougars knocked Lely out of district tourney play.
Fowler said he had urged a lot of students to come to the game to support the team.
“When I saw all the people I was determined top give them a good show,” he said.
After Lely scored in the fourth, Fowler gave up just two hits the rest of the way and his team made some good fielding plays behind him. His fast ball was humming and his changeup was his out pitch.
Fowler credited catcher Lepido Gonzalez with calling a good game, choosing Fowler’s pitches. Fowler said he called off Gonzalez only twice.
Gonzalez said, “I had confidence in Kit, I knew he could do it.”
Sanchez got the pitch he expected in delivering the game-winning hit.
“I was batting eighth. Being down the lineup I didn’t expect him to bother with a curve ball,” he said.
Coach Eric Maya hopes his team will use the win for momentum.
He told them, “You just beat a fantastic team. Kit was an example of how to stay focused. The defense was sucking up balls, making some plays that they shouldn’t have been able to make. Lepido was excellent behind the plate.”
Fowler, a senior, couldn’t remember the last time Lely had beaten Barron Collier, “but I will remember this for a very long time,” he said.