BY GENE NARDI
Seminole Ridge High School’s varsity baseball squad made school history Thursday, April 21, winning its first-ever District 12-8A championship title with a 1-0 shutout of rival Wellington High School.
Forest Hill High School was the venue for the much-anticipated contest between two of Palm Beach County’s best. The meeting between the teams was the third this season, with the Hawks winning both regular-season games. The first was a tight 1-0 victory, and the second was a battle, with the Hawks pulling out a 6-4 win in extra innings.
With the history between the two teams, the style of play in this title game was, to no one’s surprise, thrilling despite the lowest of scores.
Seminole Ridge pitcher Anthony Elias led the way and pitched six shutout innings, tallying five strikeouts and no walks. It was superior defense by the Hawks (19-5-1) that proved the difference.
Despite most of the pressure being on the Hawks since they’d already bested Wellington twice in the regular season, the team delivered the knockout blow. Andrew Attaway went one-for-three with a double and scored the lone run for the Hawks.
“It feels amazing,” senior pitcher Elias said. “We’ve worked really hard for this, and I’m really excited to be a part of it.”
The game was scoreless through the first two innings. In the third, Seminole Ridge seized an opportunity. Justin Reyes hit a single that sent in Attaway from third to give the Hawks the 1-0 lead, and what would be the game’s only score.
Wellington had opportunities to tie the game, but could not get the finish they needed at bat. Twice the Wolverines had runners on base, including a bases-loaded situation in the fourth inning, but fell short.
The Hawks continued to be stubborn on defense, playing solid on both sides of the field. Outfielder Joey Schergen was consistent all night in left field, helping his team lock in the 1-0 victory.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Schergen said. “We set a goal at the beginning of the season and took one game at a time.”
The win earned the district crown for the Hawks for the first time in school history. “I’m speechless,” Seminole Ridge coach Trent Pendergast said. “At this level of the season, it’s the smallest thing that changes the game.”
With the loss, Wellington is the district runner-up. Both teams advance to the regional tournament.
Seminole Ridge hosted Lakeland High School in the regional quarterfinals on Wednesday, and Wellington traveled to George W. Jenkins High School, but results were not available by press time.
ABOVE: Seminole Ridge High School won the District 12-8A championship.