LUTZ- Steinbrenner has been in the regional semi-finals once before tonight’s 1-0 ninth inning loss to Durant. It was three years ago in a loss to rival Wiregrass Ranch. But no matter how much extra inning, walk-off win, nail biting game situations they have had this season, the three game streak of such a winning style had to end eventually.
Junior CJ Van Eyk took the mound for the Warriors on a breezy and sunny afternoon. He pitched with real ferocity. Throwing six strikeouts over seven innings, allowing no runs, and throwing one walk and giving up only four hits, he did his job to the letter. Even senior Andrew Lindsay did his part to an extent allowing the only run of the game when second baseman Durant Cougar Cade Kelley took a ball for a ride to the left-center field fence on a lead-off double. Catcher Jake Sullivan then put a ground ball barley out of reach for second baseman Colby Burchardt sending it slowly into Brandon Johnson’s glove in center where a throw to home was just a tad late.
It was the only run of the game but it was still too much for a struggling Warrior offense. Having a total of eight base runners off of six walks, a walk by being hit by a pitch, and one runner off an error, the Warriors had many opportunities to score but failed to due to either failed routine hit and runs or runners picked off or caught stealing. The Warriors struck out a total of ten times.
The Warriors will look to continue their success next year with a solid pitching staff returning and some strong hitters and fielders.
Written by Evan Abramson/Online Sports Editor