The defending Class 3A state champion North Florida Christian Eagles will look to add another title to their resume after a 3-1 win over Bishop McLaughlin in the FHSAA baseball semifinals on Monday at JetBlue Park.
The Eagles, traveling from Tallahassee, put two go-ahead runs in the third inning from a sacrifice fly and double to extend a lead starting pitcher Cole Sands would not relinquish.
The Eagles will face the winner of Canterbury and Westminster Christian, who will face at 1 p.m. today in the other semifinal. The Class 3A state final will take place Tuesday at 4:05 p.m.
The fast throwing hurler, who was hitting upward of 90 miles per hour on the gun, went seven innings and gave up just two hits and one run on five strikeouts.
“It was a typical game for us,” North Florida Christian head coach Mike Posey said. “We spotted them a run early, but Cole pitched really well and we had a lot of tenacity on the mound today and we scratched out a lot of runs.”
Ethan Michaelis went 2-for-3 with a run for the Eagles. North Florida Christian batters struck out nine times but added six hits.
Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin’s Nate Pearson went five-plus innings and earned five strikeouts, but walked five batters and ran into trouble in the third inning.
A Taylor Schmidt flyout to center scored Sands to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead. Then Trey Pearce hit a two-out double to give his team a lead that went until the seventh.
“Canterbury is here for the second year, which sometimes it helps you when you’ve been here a couple times,” Posey said. “It really doesn’t matter to us. I think to get this far, either team will be a challenge for us.”
The Hurricanes had just two hits on the game.