Sarasota Christian recovered from its first loss of the season in the district final to beat First Baptist, 11-1, in a Class 2A regional quarterfinals at First Baptist Academy on Friday.
Friday’s game, originally scheduled for Wednesday, was delayed due to rainy weather conditions. The Sarasota Christian offense was tired of waiting around; it immediately put two runs on the scoreboard in the first inning.
“It didn’t affect us,” First Baptist Academy coach Mario Doria said of the delay. “They’re a good ballclub. At the end of the day, we didn’t play well.”
Blazers senior starting pitcher Chad Miller said the back-to-back rainouts became irritating.
“I was ready to pitch,” Miller said. “It was kind of ‘Aw, now I have to wait another day.’ I started thinking this could be my last high school game.”
Miller (8-1), eager to continue his high school career, retired the first five Lions batters. He stayed hot while pitching a complete game, allowing just one run and striking out seven. At the plate, he knocked in two runs and had a triple.
“He is our No. 1 pitcher,” Sarasota Christian coach Chris Lee said. “He’s been our workhorse all year long. He was just on tonight.”
The Lions’ lone run was scored in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to smart base running by Nic Aristizabal.
Doria called a hit-and-run when Aristizabal was on first base. Aristizabal later stole third and came home on a throwing error to second base.
“We were aggressive,” Doria said. “That catcher is a really good catcher, but when a catcher is aggressive like that you can force them into making throws they shouldn’t make. That’s what we did there. He made a throw there that they couldn’t handle, and that allowed [Aristizabal] to get to third and eventually home.”
The Lions (11-16) faced Sarasota Christian twice during the regular season, losing both games.
Sarasota Christian (26-1) will take on a familiar foe, St. Petersburg-Canterbury, in the Class 2A regional semifinal Tuesday. The Blazers are 2-1 against the Crusaders (11-14) this season.
SC 204 001 4 — 11 6
FBA 000 100 0 — 1 6
Miller and Quillian. Emmerson, Watkins (3) and Diaz. WP — Miller. LP — Emmerson. 2B — Shifflett (SC), Rose (FBA); 3B — Miller (SC), Shiflett (SC)