By: Matt Rothman
It was one of the most incredible seasons in Coral Springs Charter baseball history as the Panthers came within three outs of advancing to the Regional Final on Tuesday.
The Panthers fell to Hialeah Educational Academy 4-3 after a brilliant start from AJ Prendergast. Still, they completed their season at 13-8. and won a pair of playoff games, including one in Regionals.
Head Coach Charlie Fine credits his team for never giving up despite being counted out by most.
“They just kept fighting,” Coach Fine said. “This was a great experience year and hopefully a springboard for these young guys to learn from. I have the best coaching staff in all of high school baseball, and I know our staff will have these kids ready for next year.”
Prendergast, who is only a junior, finished the season with eight wins and struck out 101 batters in 63.2 innings along with an ERA under 1.00. Robert Boing also pitched well and had two saves. He picked up the win in Regionals.
Offensively, Damian Rodriguez led the team with a .320 batting average despite missing some time with an injury. Leo Beltran hit the team’s only home run this year, which came with the Panthers down to their final out in the Regional Quarterfinals.
Jeovanni Hernandez, Gavin Gargiulo, and Haiden Walters combined to drive 37 runs in. The Panthers also had several freshmen make an impact this year. Kate Maston earned her first varsity win. Other first-year students contributing were Kristopher Goldstein, Andrew Raucci, and Aiden Tarshis.
The Panthers will lose Rodriguez from their roster as the lone senior on the roster. Still, with the success Coach Fine has had since taking over, it seems like it is only a matter of time until CSC breaks through and wins a Regional Championship.
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- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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