For a team reaching new heights, Jupiter’s mood was anything but elevated.
Since making the postseason for the first time in 1964 — the year the high school opened — the Warriors had never advanced past the second round. But the final out of Tuesday’s 8-0 win over Seminole Ridge in a Class 8A regional semifinal brought on little more than a quick round of handshakes and a brief huddle.
“It was like, ‘Congratulations, everybody, but we’re not done,’ ” coach Andy Mook said. “If you’ve come this far, you might as well keep it going.”
The Warriors (22-4) were all business against Seminole Ridge, which ended the first postseason run in the Hawks’ eight-year history at 15-13-1. The headliners were senior right fielder Pat Walther, who finished 3-for-3 with a homer, triple, a single and a walk; and senior left-hander Scott Danek, who pitched a four-hit shutout.
But it wasn’t just those two. It was a total team win for the Warriors, and it left Ridge coach Trent Pendergast feeling sour.
“We played awful tonight,” he said. “Credit to them. They’re a great team. Hopefully they go win state.”
Walther, who batted a team-high .425 last year, drove in two runs with a first-inning triple. He and his teammates celebrated a little after his opposite-field solo homer in the third, but they kept rolling. Kyle Vesnesky, Logan Heister and John McCarthy added RBI singles in the fourth. A Kevin Fry RBI single and a bases-loaded walk in the sixth made it 8-0.
That was more than enough for Danek, who faced the minimum through five, struck out three and walked one. His defense was flawless behind him.
Ridge starter Kyle Farjad, a freshman lefty, struck out four of his first nine batters, but allowed four hits and two walks in three-plus innings. Three relievers couldn’t solve Jupiter bats.
“We can’t let up,” Mook said. “We can’t take any team lightly. I know it’s kind of cocky to say, but the only team that can beat us is ourselves.”
In Friday’s regional final, the Warriors get another chance to prove that correct when they travel to face Pembroke Pines-Flanagan (20-5), which shut down Parkland-Douglas 3-0 on Tuesday.