The Trenton Tigers came to Fort Myers seeking validation that their 25-1 mark wasn’t the product of a soft schedule.
They left with that validation, in the form of the FHSAA Class 1A state championship.
Trenton emphatically defeated rival Chiefland, who had handed the Tigers their only loss of the season, 11-1 Thursday afternoon in six innings at JetBlue Park.
“I think we made a statement today that we are the best team in 1A, and for certain the best hitting team in 1A,” Trenton coach Todd Bryant said.
The Tigers recovered from an early 1-0 deficit with consecutive two-out RBI doubles from Jonathan Smith, Clif Bryant, and Hunter Parrish in the top of the third inning. Trenton, who took advantage of six Chiefland errors, would add three runs in the fourth inning, and put the game away with five more in the sixth. Bryant, a senior catcher, drove in three runs on a pair of doubles.
The Tigers’ 11 runs were four more than the team had managed in the first two meetings with Chiefland combined.
Tiger starting pitcher Stephen Smith kept the Indians, who average nearly eight runs a game and scored 15 against Trenton less than a month ago, to just one run, scattering five hits in a six inning complete game.
MWC 9, DTC 3
A year ago, Miami Westwood Christian mustered no offense against Deltona Trinity Christian in the Class 2A state championship game, falling to the Eagles 1-0.
Thursday night at JetBlue Park, the Warriors flipped the script, rolling to a 9-3 victory to win the first baseball state championship in school history. Westwood’s win denied Trinity their fourth title in five years.
The Warriors, who entered the state tournament having lost three of their last four games, exploded offensively in the game’s first two innings, scoring three runs in both frames. Three of the six runs came off the bat of junior first baseman Miguel Gonzalez.
Westwood starting pitcher Jason Gutierrez, who was making his second start of the season after missing most of the campaign with a shoulder injury, fired a complete game one-hitter for the Warriors.