Canterbury Cougars on their way to claiming fourth consecutive state title
The Cougars are 63 outs away from becoming the first team from Southwest Florida to accomplish that feat.
Wednesday, May 15th 2019, 12:09 AM EDT by
FORT MYERS, Fla. - 2016, 2017 and 2018 all have one thing in common: Canterbury baseball brought home the FHSAA 3A state title in all three of those years. The Cougars' chances of claiming their fourth-straight state title went up on Tuesday night.
In a regional semifinal match up against Saint Stephens Episcopal, the Cougars pulled out a hard-fought 2-1 victory, thanks to great starting pitching by William Shae and some timely hitting at the dish.
Julian Meyers got the Cougars on the board first with an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning that scored Santino Cervone. Then in the third, Cervone tacked on what would prove to be the winning run with a solo home-run to center.
"Just went up there looking for a good pitch to hit. I knew immediately and just coming around third seeing my boys at home, it’s the best feeling ever," Cervone said.
After Tuesday's win, the Cougars are just 63 outs away from claiming their fourth-straight state title. They would become the first team from Southwest Florida to ever accomplish that feat.
"We talk about it after every practice. I mean with that big of a goal, it has to be in your mind. Hey, if it’s three more games, we have to play with everything; we have for those last three. It’s stuff that you dream about. We are literally making history," Canterbury senior captain Bryce Einstein, who recorded the last three outs by striking out the side, said.
While Einstein and fellow senior Cooper Weiss have been on the field for all three of the Cougars previous state titles, many of the other faces have changed. The players credit the coaching staff for their consistency through the years.
"That brings me back to practice. You know, they will put pressure on us to perform," Weiss said. "You don’t find that, honestly, in a lot of programs," he said of Canterbury's coaching staff.
"If you take care of business with the preparation, with the process, then the product takes care of itself," said Frank Turco, the Cougars head coach for all of their state titles. "It would be utterly amazing, it would be, but there's still a lot more work to be done."
The next bit of work will be a battle with Out-of-Door Academy on Friday night in the regional final at Ruttenburg Park. First pitch is at 7 p.m.
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