FORT MYERS, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Mosley baseball team fell to Dunedin 7-4 in the 6A semifinals, ending the Dolphins season at 25-4.
Mosley's baseball team cheers each other on during their game against Duredin. (WJHG/WECP)
Missed opportunities proved to be key early on. Mosley stranded two runners in the top of the first, another in the second and pair in the third, although they swung the bats well and hit the ball hard.
Starting pitcher Ryan Pettys worked through jams in the first and second with key strikeouts along the way.
Still scoreless in the bottom of the third, a single and three walks plate Dunedin’s (23-8) first run, followed by a two run single to center to make it 3-0.
The Dolphins cut the gap to 3-1 in the fourth on a Clete Hartzog double to left center scoring Brayden Gainey, but that and further efforts weren’t enough, as the Dolphins third trip to the Final Four in the last four years ends in disappointment again.
"It's baseball, things don't go your way," head coach Jon Hudson said. "We hit some balls hard, they made some great defensive plays. Their left fielder made a great catch on Lasecki's ball down the left-field line. We had the chance to tie the game up and Trent Justice hit a rocket, but it's right at the first baseman. They turned some double plays, got themselves out of some jams. We had the chance to score in every inning. It's just one of those games that happens in the game of baseball."
Even just five minutes after defeat, the seniors attending the press conference show grace in reflecting on the season and their careers at MHS.
"We've always said that 'we're some dogs,'" outfielder Clete Hartzog said. "That really shows if you can just keep on fighting for seven innings. Sadly we didn't come out on top, but it's a great time going out there with some of your best buds."
One last memory years in the making.
"I've been playing baseball with these kids since I was four years old," outfielder Mason Smith added. "It's unreal. The team chemistry was unreal, and to follow up with a hurricane that was unbearable...some of these guys will stay my lifelong best friends. There's no doubt about it."
Given everything the school and Bay County community has gone through since Hurricane Michael in October, losing isn't the end of the world.
"They had to rely on their families," Hudson elaborated. "They've had to go through a lot more than this. I think they understand what it means to have people around you and what relationships mean and that they can overcome those kinds of issues. They've faced more adversity off the field then on the field. I think that was shown today and that was shown all year. A loss in the final four means nothing to me as much as what this group has gone through and what they mean to me. It's a special group, a special season. I love these guys very much."
The Dolphins intend to complete the trip back to Lynn Haven Friday night.
Dunedin advances to play Jesuit in Saturday's state championship.
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