Douglas Rolls Past Coral Springs 9-0 Behind Kaminer
Thursday afternoon’s district match-up between Douglas and Coral Springs brought a battle of two different coaching philosophies. Douglas sent ace Brandon Kaminer to the mound, while Coral Springs chose a different strategy and threw their ace Tuesday in a win against Monarch.
On Thursday the Colts sent Austin Smith to the mound, and while Smith has been very good for Coral Springs this season, it was not the arm the Eagles expected to face.
The results were in Douglas’ favor, as Kaminer gave up one hit in five innings of work, and the Douglas offense exploded for 11 hits and nine runs in a 9-0 victory. The win also keeps the Eagles’ hopes alive of gaining the top seed in the district.
“The win is huge for us,” said Douglas Manager Todd Fitz-Gerald. “For me, in the district, I don’t care if they see Kaminer six times in a row. They still have to beat him. Some of these guys play it ‘well, I don’t want them seeing him more than once or twice, we’ll wait to the end.’ But at the end of the day, I’m going to put our best out on that given day, and give our team the best opportunity to be successful. I don’t play to win certain games, I want to win every game when I put the uniform on, and so do these kids.”
By going with that strategy, the Eagles (9-3) locked up no worse than the second spot in the district. They are now 4-1 in the 9A-11, and trail leader Taravella by a half game. The Trojans defeated Douglas earlier in the year, and the teams have a rematch set for early April.
“Anything can happen,” said Fitz-Gerald. “Taravella still has to play Springs again, and we will be ready for them on April 7th. Seeding in a district like this with all three teams having a top-of-the-line arm is important, and we still have our eye set on that top seed.”
It appeared for much of the game that Douglas was focused on not letting any more district games slip away. The Eagles scored two unearned runs in the second inning, and then blew the game open in the third. Brandon Auerbach had a one-out walk, Raffy Santos singled for one of his three hits on the day, and he then stole second. Chad McDaniel, also with three hits on the afternoon, singled in Auerbach, and Jacob Stanley followed with a two-RBI single of his own. By the end of the inning, Douglas had built a 5-0 lead.
“For me on the mound today, to go out there and get an early lead, that felt good for me,” said Kaminer.
The Eagles have been struggling to get their offense rolling all year, and the bats woke up in a big way. They scored in five of six innings, and had hits from seven of their nine starters. Santos has been the Eagles’ most consistent hitter all year, and he put the finishing touches on the victory with a solo home run in the sixth inning.
“The difference for us today was we were being aggressive early in the count,” Santos said. “In the past, we have taken a lot of first pitches and put ourselves behind in the count. Today we attacked from the start of all at-bats. Fastball or curveball, we were ready and were going to be aggressive.”
For Kaminer, it was another typical performance. There is, however, a trend that Fitz-Gerald would like to see change as the Eagles come down the stretch towards the playoffs.
“He has to do a better job of being focused and getting ready before games,” said Fitz-Gerald. “We have to get him into the sixth inning at around that 80-pitch mark so he can go deeper in games. That comes from being a little more sharp and efficient early in the game.”
As for the looming match-up with Taravella, Santos believes this time will be different than the last time they met.
“We got them,” said Santos. “We will be ready, and we are going to get that game.”