Broward High School Baseball
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South Broward Beats Nova For Regional Berth

Kenny Rasor was the winning pitcher Tuesday.

South Broward Manager Joe Giummule woke up Tuesday morning believing his team had a good chance to beat perennial powerhouse Nova in the 7A-15 semifinals. Led by a four-RBI performance by Jimmie McDonnell, Tuesday afternoon that belief turned into reality as the Bulldogs held off a Titans rally to win 6-4.

The win puts the third-seeded Bulldogs (10-12) in Thursday’s championship against top-seeded St. Thomas at 7 p.m. at Nova High. The Raiders advanced after edging Hollywood Hills 2-1 in extra innings.

The loss ends the season for Nova (18-4), which will not compete in the regional playoffs for the first time since 1997. South Broward, meanwhile, will be playing in its first regional since 2010, Giummule’s first season as coach at the school.

“We beat [Nova] last year 6-0, then went extra innings with them, then had a 4-0 lead vs. them,” Giummule said. “We knew with our best two on the mound, we had a chance if we cut down on errors. I would have never imagined scoring six runs, I figured it would be a 2-1, 3-2 game.

“I feel [my players] were maybe tired of underachieving more then anything. We have made 97 errors and were hitting .238 coming into the game. We are definitely better then those numbers indicate, and today was a good indication of that. From day one, we talked about this game, so they were definitely hungry and ready for this game. All week, I told them this was our game to win, and that I believed in them, and beating Nova today would make our season.”

South Broward wasted no time gaining momentum. Mike Cohick led off the game with a first-pitch base hit, and was followed by Dalton Harbinson being hit by a pitch. McDonnell lined a two-out hit to score Cohick and Harbinson.

The Bulldogs used small ball to their advantage and took advantage of Nova errors to score three more runs in the third.

Nova loaded the bases in the third but managed just one run off starter Kenny Rasor, who earned the win.

The Titans rallied for three runs in the fifth, and Mike Cohick came in to relieve Rasor. Nova managed two hits off Cohick, who previously played for Nova before transferring to South Broward after his freshman year.

Mike Cohick earned the save, striking out the last two batters to end the game.

After a scoreless sixth, the Bulldogs added another run in the top of the seventh. Giummule said he told Dalton Harbinson to crowd the plate and get on anyway he could. On the first pitch, Harbison got hit and then Cohick lined out before Rasor had his second hit of the game, setting the table for McDonnell to drive in his fourth run of the game.

Cohick got a leadoff fly ball for an out and then struck out the last two batters to end the game. The satisfaction of beating a close rival such as Nova gives the Bulldogs a measure of success after a tough year.

“This season has been somewhat of a struggle, a disappointment if you will,” Giummule said. “We honestly haven’t played well all year. We have played well for five innings, then make six errors in an inning. I just kept telling the boys the regular season is a preseason, and the season starts in the district tournament. All we need to do is play one good game, seven innings of good baseball, and that would make up for the entire season. No one remembers records. They remember who moves on. I’ve been on the other side where my team had a great regular season and didn’t advance.”

The win will go down in some people’s eye as an upset, but Giummule thinks of it differently.

“On paper, it’s an upset. They were 18-3 and we were 9-12. I don’t think records measure everything,” Giummule said. “Strength of schedule and matchups play a bigger role in my opinion. I felt we matched up verse them, I felt our schedule prepared us, and I felt them not seeing my two best and us seeing their two best would be the difference and give us the best chances of winning the one game that means the most. I’m happy for the players and the parents. It has been a long season and tonight all their hard work and dedication paid off, and I’m happy for them more anything. It was their day in the sun and they should be proud.”

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