Broward High School Baseball
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Douglas Headed To 4th Straight State Final Four

There was a time, back in late March and early April, where the Douglas dynasty looked vulnerable. The team that had earlier in the year ran their winning streak to 59 games, over three seasons, suddenly faced a stretch where they went 3-3 in a six game span.

“People counted us out because we lost a few games,” said Douglas Manager Todd Fitz-Gerald. “Don’t ever count us out. Winners win, and this 2024 group of players are winners.”

The current version of the Eagles dynasty showed that on Monday evening, defeating West Broward, a worthy opponent, 4-0, while advancing to their fourth straight 7A Final Four.

“To go back to the final four for a fourth straight year as a public school ist truly amazing,” said Fitz-Gerald. “I couldn’t be happier for this team and the resiliency they have showed throughout this year.”

The Eagles have used many methods over the four years to win games, but the formula that has worked the best is strong starting pitching, timely hitting, and big defensive plays.

Douglas had all three on display on Monday, as they played one of the most complete games they played all season.

On the mound, it was Jayden Dubanewicz who went the distance. The senior dazzled through most of the night, allowing only three hits, while striking out six Bobcat batters.

“Duby was electric tonight,” said Fitz-Gerald. “I thought he pitched great, and giving us all seven innings sets us up for the state tourney later this week.”

The only real trouble Dubanewicz ran into came in the fifth inning. West Broward’s Alejandro Sardinas and Manny Sarcos hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. With a couple of passed balls putting runners on second and third with no outs, Dubanewicz was forced to bear down.

That is when the defense came to life for the Eagles.

A fielder’s choice on a ground ball to shortstop Devin Fitz-Gerald, kept runners on second and third, with one out. Isaiah DelValle then laced a low line drive that appeared headed towards center field, but Dubanewicz somehow corralled it in his glove, which fell off his hand, for the second out.

A ground out to second then ended the threat.

With two-thirds of the formula complete, the offense filled in the gaps with the runs needed to complete the trip back to Fort Myers. An Ethan Askins double in the second inning, brought in the first two runs for the Eagles.

In the third, Niko Benestad hit an RBI single, scoring Fitz-Gerald, and upping the score to 3-0. Douglas would add an insurance run in the sixth, closing the scoring in the 4-0 win.

The win moves Douglas into a familiar place in Fort Myers, trying to do something no Broward public team has ever done, win four straight state titles.

It will not be an easy path for the Eagles, as Windermere and Timber Creek out of Orlando will be waiting, as well as Vero Beach out of the Space Coast.

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