Hawks overpower Seabreeze on way to Class 7A baseball regional semifinals
Viera's Sebastian Samuels connects on a base hit during Wednesday's Class 7A regional quarterfinal against Seabreeze. The Hawks won 12-1 and Samuels went 3-for-3 at the plate with an RBI.
VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala
The Viera High baseball team has been hitting the ball well all season, but over the past few weeks, the Hawks have taken it to another level.
Tuesday night was proof of that.
Viera ripped the Seabreeze pitching staff for 12 hits on the way to a 12-1, 5-inning victory over the Sandcrabs in the Class 7A regional quarterfinals at Viera Regional Park.
The Hawks (23-4) will host Melbourne (21-9) Tuesday night at 7 in the regional semifinals. Melbourne defeated Edgewater 5-3 in their regional quarterfinal matchup.
Given that the Bulldogs have a talented pitching staff, Viera’s offense will need to be at its best. But that hasn’t exactly been a problem.
Viera has a team batting average of .361 and is averaging 8.5 runs a game. The Hawks have been particularly hot of late.
“It pretty much started when we played Merritt Island about two weeks ago,” senior first baseman Sebastian Samuels said. “Our approaches are getting better and everybody knows what they need to do at the plate to do their job and get us a win.”
Samuels went 3-for-3 with an RBI Wednesday night. Connor Leary went 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Kyle Dentmon went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Andrew Brait also had a hit and three RBIs.
On the mound, Bryson Wallace got the start and went three innings before giving way to Zach Kaye, who struck out three over two hitless innings.
“I thought we came out and swung the bats well,” Viera coach Bob Doty said. “It seems like we always do. This is one of the best hitting teams I’ve ever had. (Seabreeze) had a pretty good pitcher on the mound … we got to him early.”
Trailing 1-0 going into the bottom of the second inning, the Hawks blew the game open with seven runs.
After Alex Brait beat out an infield single and Darren Rodney walked, Leary hit a fly ball to center that was misplayed by Seabreeze and loaded the bases with no outs. Andrew Brait then lined a two-run single to put Viera in the lead.
A balk by Seabreeze pitcher Sam Marlatt made it 3-1. RBI singles by Connor Scheer, Dentmon and Samuels made it 6-1 and the seventh run scored on a fielder’s choice.
That set the tone for the rest of the night as the Hawks continued to build on their lead and eventually made it an early night due to the 10-run rule.
“It was a good team win,” Samuels said. “That’s a pretty decent team over there. We came out early with the bats and we kept it on them. We were able to pitch and throw lots of strikes and when they put balls in play, we were able to make plays behind our pitcher.
“Overall, we played a good overall game.”