Bishop Verot's Banick tosses gem to clinch district crown

Bishop Verot's Banick tosses gem to clinch district crown

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Bishop Verot's Banick tosses gem to clinch district crown

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The disappointment on Patrick Banick’s face was clearly visible as Bishop Verot baseball coach David Nelson strolled out of the dugout to the mound.

Anthony Tejeda looks up at his hit during Friday's district final game against LaBelle.

Anthony Tejeda looks up at his hit during Friday’s district final game against LaBelle.

Having thrown 62/3 innings of no-hit ball, he wasn’t going to get a chance to finish what he started.

While tossing a no-hitter in the Vikings’ 9-0 win over LaBelle in the District 4A-11 title game Friday at Dunbar High would have been a memory to carry with him always, it wasn’t part of the ultimate goal.

Junior reliever Devyn White needed the work with a man on base to prepare for Wednesday’s regional quarterfinal with Clewiston.

“For Pat, 93 pitches was enough,” Nelson said. “At the same time, that was going to be Devyn’s role. He needed to come in with a guy on base and get an out.”

Which he did.

Micheal Richey swings during Friday's district final game against LaBelle.

Micheal Richey swings during Friday’s district final game against LaBelle.

Tyler Vetton throws to first during Friday's district final game against Bishop Verot

Tyler Vetton throws to first during Friday’s district final game against Bishop Verot

Banick was more than content with tossing a gem that included 12 strikeouts to give his club a first-round home game. Although the no-hit bid did creep into his mind.

“I kind of kept it in the back of my head. I didn’t want to think about it every at-bat,” Banick said. “When coach came out it was kind of disappointing, but I knew that another guy had to come in and get his innings in if we were going to be at our best in some tough games ahead.”

Nelson said Banick’s response was representative of a 20-6 club that has come together to win its fifth straight district title.

“He’s a team playe\r. He’s been a team player all year long,” Nelson said of Banick, who has thrown 20 straight scoreless innings. “He understands the situation and understands the game. He knows the ultimate goal.”

Banick struggled to find his release point facing Baylen McCormick to lead off the game but went on to retire 18 of the next 20 hitters with a strong curveball.

“In past games I’ve been a groundball pitcher and my curveball wasn’t really working,” Banick said. “This game I was letting it loose and the curveball was really breaking and I was using that a lot.”

Senior Thaddeus Ward, who will start on the mound Wednesday, went 3-for-4 while C.J. Alexander and Richie Nizza drove in two runs apiece for the Vikings, who plated runs in the first, third, fifth and sixth innings.

Bishop Verot’s Patrick Banick was unhittable against LaBelle on Friday night.

Bishop Verot’s Patrick Banick was unhittable against LaBelle on Friday night.

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Bishop Verot's Banick tosses gem to clinch district crown
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