Baseball: Seminole’s resiliency pays off in late season surge

The offense was opportunistic Monday, but that has been the case a lot lately.

Seminole scored key runs early and got contributions from everyone. Add pitching that was effective, if not spectacular, and you have a 10-0 victory over Bradenton Southeast from a team that no longer resembles the bunch struggling to stay above .500 three weeks ago.

At that time, the Warhawks were mired in a four-game losing streak that dropped their record to 9-7.

Since then, Seminole has been one of hottest teams in the area. The Warhawks have seven straight and nine of their last 10. 

The turnaround stems from their camaraderie, as well as their resiliency, to rebound from losses, on and off the field. 

The mother of a former player died in the fall. The father of a current player died during the season. The pitching coach’s father also died this year.

Seminole had little time to grieve. For the players, the repetitive act of throwing, catching and hitting allowed the memory of losing so many loved ones to sink somewhere deep into their subconscious.

They decided to go on not just for rah-rah reasons, but also because baseball is what defines him.

Still, there were more setbacks to overcome. 

Positive coronavirus tests forced the team to quarantine — twice. The first one was Feb. 23-Mar. 9. The second one was Mar. 26-April 7. 

No matter. The Warhawks were determined to finish the season, especially after their strong start in 2020 (8-2) was cut short once the Florida High School Athletic Association decided to cancel spring sports because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

To make up for the lost time in quarantine, Seminole had to schedule nine games during a 10-day span (April 7-16). 

“It’s a special group,” second-year Warhawks coach Adam Moravick said. “We had to play a ton of games in a row and we’ve only had two practices in that time. They’re just resilient.”

Experience has been the key. Seminole has 13 seniors on the team. Oliver Hahn leads the team in RBIs (29) and home runs. Cody Little (0.76 ERA) and Noah Palmese (0.91 ERA) each have been stellar on the mound. 

The winning streak continued Monday in the Class 5A, District 9 quarterfinals. The Warhawks scored at least one run in five of the six innings played in the 10-0 rout. Hahn had three hits, including a homer, and finished with four RBIs. Jackson Graden, a sophomore, threw a no-hitter with nine strikeouts. 

Tonight, Seminole faces Northeast in the district semifinals with a playoff berth at stake.

“We’re playing well and keep finding ways to win,” Moravick said. “We have to find a way to do it again.”