Broward High School Baseball
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Guess Who’s Back? McCarthy Heading To States Again

The Mavs, shown here winning their district title, have not given up a run since that game.

The Archbishop McCarthy Mavericks have had an arrow on their back all season long, and that arrow has been pointed at more than just their on-field accomplishments.

With most teams facing the adversity these Mavericks have faced this year, the story ends with a tough loss and the players ride into the sunset.

But this is not most teams. The Mavericks showed again Tuesday night why they have become one of the top programs in the country, defeating Eau Gallie in a throwback game, 3-0, and advancing to their eighth state tournament in nine years.

“This win and returning to the state finals this year with this group is priceless,” said Mavericks Manager Rick Bielski, who has helped transform the McCarthy program from afterthought to perennial national power. “Our seniors and our coaching staff have been through a lot together, and what better way is there than to finish it with another trip to the finals in Fort Myers?”

One of those seniors was Tuesday’s starting pitcher, Daniel Federman. The Mavericks’ ace and University of Miami signee did what he has done throughout regional play, throw zeroes up on the scoreboard. Federman threw a complete game against one of McCarthy’s most formidable opponents of the past decade, giving up three hits and striking out 11 while walking none.

“Fed was a bulldog out there tonight from the very first pitch,” said Bielski. “With tonight’s dominant performance, Fed has followed in the footsteps of the many great pitchers we have had at McCarthy. He has worked so hard the past four years and tonight was the perfect way to pitch his final game on this field. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Of course, no matter how well Federman pitched, there was offense needed to defeat Eau Gallie ace Carter Stewart, a Mississippi State signee. The Mavericks received that offense from a familiar weapon, right-fielder Adan Fernandez. The FIU signee drilled a double off the wall in the first, scoring Alex Toral, who had worked a two-out walk.

“We’ve seen it so many times,” said Bielski. “Adan has been our clutch guy his whole high school career. He really set the tone for us tonight with his RBI double in the first inning.”

The score stayed 1-0 into the sixth inning. After Luis Tuero singled to lead off the inning, and advanced on an Andrew Fernandez sacrifice bunt, Toral was hit by a pitch. An Adan Fernandez single and two walks gave the Mavericks the insurance they needed at 3-0.

In the seventh, Federman retired the Commodores in order by striking out the side, and the celebration McCarthy players have come to perfect through the years, from lifting the regional trophy, to running to the backstop to share it with their fans, began again. Another regional title, and the possibility of a seventh state title in eight years was suddenly in play for the team that keeps taking adversity in stride, while excelling on the field.

McCarthy will now move on to the state semifinals, where it will face the winner of Clay and Mosley, on June 1st. The two northern Florida teams will play on Thursday evening.

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