Broward High School Baseball
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Spicer’s No-Hitter Makes St. Thomas District Champions

The Raiders celebrate their second straight district title.

7A-15 Championship Gallery

With a district championship on the line, it is any pitcher’s dream to go out there and pitch the greatest game of his life. On Thursday night, St. Thomas Aquinas starter Jordan Spicer realized that dream.

The right-hander tossed a no-hitter to lead the Raiders past South Broward 8-0 to claim the 7A-15 district championship. Spicer was dominant throughout, and the only three base runners to reach and thwart him from throwing a perfect game all reached on errors. He struck out seven and did not walk anyone, and only faced two batters over the minimum.

“Everything just happened to work for me,” said Spicer. “The two-seamer was working, the slider was working. I wasn’t consistently pounding the strike zone how I would like to but I was pounding it good enough, and when they put the ball in play my team had my back. That means everything in the world to me that my coaches trust me. My coaches trust me and I need to prove them right that they did the right thing by trusting me with the ball. I still need to prove that to myself and to my coaches.”

After the Bulldogs (10-13) put two runners on by errors in the first inning, but were unable to capitalize on the opportunity. After that, Spicer settled in and attacked the South Broward lineup, mixing pitches and changing locations while consistently working ahead in the count and staying in control of his pitches. He tossed three straight perfect frames before Jimi McDonnell reached on an error leading off the fifth. He then struck out the side in the fifth to strand the Bulldogs last base runner.

“Pitching has been our strength this year,” said St. Thomas Manager Troy Cameron. “We have really pitched well and have thrown a lot of strikes. We’ve got a lot of kids that can step and throw for us at any given time.”

On Thursday, it was Spicer who got the chance to step up and throw those strikes, which he admitted was a big moment for him after he transferred to St. Thomas before this season. Even before the coaches bestowed the honor of starting the district title game for them, the junior admitted that it has been a decision he has been happy about every day since he arrived.

“This year was amazing, especially after transferring over. I didn’t really know what to expect, but man, from day one they treated me like a brother,” Spicer said. “I couldn’t be more glad to be at St. Thomas Aquinas. The coaching staff is unbelievable, the players are unbelievable. Baseball is a very high priority here, but we’re a strong family first here and it’s awesome.”

Dalton Harbison slides to avoid the tag in an attempt to break up the no-hitter.

Having already clinched a regional playoff berth, the Raiders (17-6) now get set to host Reagan in a Class 7A regional quarterfinal next week. As the district champions, the team has earned the right to host the quarterfinal match-up against the Bison. Since there was no pressure in facing elimination on Thursday night, the team could have taken a laid-back approach, but instead played as aggressive as always in chasing after the district crown.

“With us, we have goals,” Spicer said. “Our first goal is to win a district championship; now the next goal is to win the regional championship.”

Cameron admitted that the team understood that they might have benefited from the fact that South Broward was coming in having already used their main pitchers in order to make it that far. The Bulldogs pitched both of their primary starters in their semifinal victory over Nova, and the pitching staff was pieced together with guys a bit less experienced on Thursday night.

“South Broward played a great game the other night against Nova and I think everybody felt that it was a pretty good upset with the year that Nova had,” Cameron said. “They used their two horses to beat Nova the other night so they came in tonight and we didn’t know what we were going to get. But I know they are going to have their guys back and ready for the next round, and I hope we see them again because it means two teams from this district are advancing in the regionals. It would be nice to see that.”

South Broward came into the game on an emotional high after its biggest win in years in beating the Titans. With 11 of the 21 guys on the roster seniors, it is a veteran group that has waited a long time for its chance to play in the regional playoffs. Although the team did not have themselves set up how they would have preferred for a title bout on Thursday, it was an experience that Manager Joe Giummule encouraged them to just enjoy for the moment before looking ahead to the playoffs.

Teddy Meissner reaches home plate following his two-run home run.

“Like I told the boys, we’re on a free roll. Win or lose today, we’re playing next week on Wednesday,” Giummule said. “I told them to play loose and have fun and enjoy the moment, and give it our best shot and see what happens. Now we can look ahead. We’re playing the winner of the American and Reagan game. I don’t have a whole lot of information on either team, but I will make sure that I get as much as I possibly can to game plan. We’ll give it our best and head down to Miami and see what we can do.”

The Raiders had some question marks of their own heading into the playoff stretch, particularly in regards to a talented offense that has been less reliable of late. But on Thursday the bats began to wake up at just the right moment.

Nearly every starter reached base on Thursday. Teddy Meissner and Christian Demby each had a two-run home run to lead the way, while Jawuan Harris had an RBI triple and a run. The Raiders had eight hits overall and put runners on base in every inning.

“Our hitting has been kind of hit or miss lately, but tonight we squared a lot of balls up, which was definitely encouraging and which is definitely what you want going into the next round,” said Cameron. “Tonight was one of those nights where I think some kids, it might have been have been that game that got them going. We need it, because we’ve got a lot of kids that can step up and really help us and determine how far we get.”

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