The Island Coast (Cape Coral) baseball team has been working hard to prove everyone in Lee County wrong about their school and their program, which began in 2015.
The Class 4A-District 13 and Region 4 champions set nine school records so far this season in individual and team categories.
The Gators took the next big step on Monday with a 9-2 win against Suwannee (Live Oak) in the Class 4A state semifinals at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.
Suwannee, which has been playing baseball for over 100 years, was ranked No. 1 in the state in 4A by MaxPreps heading into the game. The top-ranked Bulldogs, who were hoping to advance to their first state title game in program history, fell behind 4-0 in the first inning and couldn’t recover.
Island Coast (23-7) sent nine batters to the plate in the top of the first.
FSW commit Boe Rodriguez led off the game with a double. Later in the inning, FAU commit Emilio Gonzalez, who holds the school record in RBI, drove in two runs for a 3-0 lead.
Alabama commit Jake Mueller added an RBI double for a 6-0 lead in the top of the second.
Suwannee got its first run in the fourth inning after the first two outs had been recorded.
Junior Joshua Fernald tripled and scored on a double by senior Peyton Waters. But that only closed the deficit to eight runs at 9-1.
The only thing that could slow down the Gators was a weather delay in the fifth inning that lasted over two hours.
When play resumed, sophomore Camden Frier had an infield hit to drive in a run to make it 9-2. However, the Bulldogs were unable to mount any kind of momentum.
The Bulldogs had trouble generating any offense against Flagler commit Kevin Martinez, who now has a school record 12 wins this season. Martinez had struck out 11 batters after six innings, when the game was delayed for two hours yet again due to weather.
The loss snapped a 15-game winning streak for the Bulldogs, who finished the season at 24-5.