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District 6A-11 baseball title still up for grabs

Friday win by Cape over Island Coast tightens the race

April 17, 2018
By PETE SISK ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

With a week to go, there's still a race in District 6A-11 baseball.

The Cape Coral Seahawks downed district leader Island Coast 6-0 on Friday, leaving the door cracked open for Cape to take the top seed away from the Gators.

Cape finished district play 9-3, and now waits on the results of two games next week between Island Coast (10-2 district) and third-place Cypress Lake.

"It definitely gives us an opportunity to take the top spot," Cape Coral coach Mike Gorton said. "They still have to play the games. We'll see how it turns out."

"It makes it a huge series," Gators coach Clinton Montgomery said. "It was already a big series."

Island Coast (13-4 overall) and Cape Coral (13-6) split their two-game series this week, each winning on the other team's field.

Senior pitcher Matt McDade allowed two first-inning singles Friday, and that was it for hits. He shrugged off two errors in the second inning that had Gator runners on the corners with one out.

After that, McDade allowed one walk and hit one batter. He struck out seven, including the last three Island Coast batters of the night.

"We pitched a pretty clean game," Gorton said. "Later on, after the first couple of innings, we played pretty clean defense. I'm happy with that.

"He (McDade) did a good job of just staying in the moment, playing the game."

Cape Coral got some key hits, and took advantage of Island Coast mistakes. Two Gators errors in the seventh inning led to Cape's last two runs. Two third-inning walks also played a big role in what turned out to be a three-run Seahawks rally.

"They're high school kids," Gorton said. "Put the ball in play and good things are going to happen."

"It's been the same story all year," Montgomery said. "We miss signs constantly, we don't know what we're doing up there. Tonight it bit us in the butt. Sometimes we get lucky and it doesn't bite us, but today it did bite us."

Jason Slater went 3-for-4 with an RBI double and a run scored for the Seahawks, while Spencer Roach was 2-for-4, scored twice and drove in a run, and Daniel Valdes doubled, stole a base and scored twice.

"A lot of times we quit," Montgomery said. "We quit tonight.

"End of the day, we've got to get better at all four phases of baseball: Running, hitting, pitching and defense. We're bad at all four right now."



Mariner 15, Port Charlotte 5 (5): Mariner continued its late-season surge, thumping the Pirates (4-13, 0-9) to improve to 10-9, 6-6 in District 6A-11. The Tritons have won seven of their last eight games, including six district victories. Gavin Walker knocked in four runs for Mariner, going 3-for-4 with two doubles. Louis Alberro (3-for-4) scored three runs and had two RBI, and Jimmy Walker (3-for-4) had three RBI and three runs scored.

Ida Baker 3, Cypress Lake 0: Alex Crothers (four innings) and Danny Stefanacci combined for a shutout as the Bulldogs (10-10, 4-6 District 6A-11) topped Cypress Lake (11-8, 6-4). Matt Laker had an RBI for Ida Baker.


Island Coast 5, Cape Coral 3: Island Coast (8-11, 5-7 District 6A-11) earned a split of the week's series against Cape Coral (11-9, 5-7).

Kaylee Bruce was 2-for-4 with an inside-the-park homer, two runs scored and two RBI to lead the Gators past the Seahawks. Haley Biddle added an RBI, and Caitlyn Gibilisco and Riley Hare each went 2-for-3 with a run scored.

"I told the girls that the other night (Tuesday's loss at Cape Coral) that we weren't playing focused," Gators coach Vincent Papley said. "We have talent at all positions, throughout the lineup 1-9. I said, 'If you play with focus, we're going to win.'

"I think we can handle any team in the district right now.

"I tell them that when we're up to bat, it's about getting good at-bats. Not swinging at junk. Make them pitch you strikes. When we're on the basepaths, make them throw you out. Be aggressive."

It's likely that tiebreaker will decide whether Cape Coral or Island Coast is the fourth seed - and gets home field against the other in the first round of the District 6A-11 tournament.

North Fort Myers gets a first-round bye in the seven-team district tourney.

Home field advantage for the first game could be big for the Gators, who are looking for the school's first win in a district softball tournament, Papley said.

Tara Stiggow knocked in a run for the Seahawks.

Mariner 4, Port Charlotte 3 (9): Yasmine Halaby's sacrifice fly RBI in the ninth inning lifted the Tritons. Hannah Holloway, Alayna Martin and Alexis Baker each had two hits. Mariner (15-6) completed its District 6A-11 schedule 10-2, good for the second seed in the upcoming district tournament. Port Charlotte slipped to 9-13, 7-5.

North Fort Myers 3, Riverdale 1: The Red Knights improved to 17-5 with a non-district win at Riverdale on Friday.



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