It took Jupiter two days to find out whether it would have to book a trip to Fort Myers. Dwyer needed three.
Inclement weather forced the Warriors to stop their regional final against Parkland- Douglas in the ninth inning (high school games are seven innings, not nine.), while the Panthers’ game against Miami-Belen Jesuit didn’t start until Friday after being originally scheduled for Tuesday.
For both teams, it was worth the wait, as they will travel to Hammond Stadium to play in the state semifinals this week. Dwyer plays Ponte Vedra-Nease at 1 p.m. Wednesday and Jupiter plays Orlando-Timber Creek at 7 p.m. Friday.
Here is a look at each game:
Dwyer (25-5) vs. Ponte Vedra-Nease (19-11): As the regular season ended and the playoffs began, Nease was a blip on the radar screen. It was an honorable mention in the final state Class 7A poll. Since then, however, Nease has been on a roll, beating Ocala-Vanguard, routing St. Augustine and then upsetting the top team in the class, Cantonment-Tate, to make the state semifinals. Dwyer has had a similar ride, beating Jensen Beach in the regional semifinals before topping Belen Jesuit on a walk-off throwing error in the regional finals. Pitching will be key for Dwyer in the semifinal — Nease scored 18 runs against St. Augustine — but it would be hard for coach Frank Torre to choose wrong when it comes to picking a starter. Top starters Justin Alintoff and Shane Roberts have a combined 0.84 ERA and 184 strikeouts in 108 innings.
Jupiter (22-6-2) vs. Orlando-Timber Creek (23-7): The story remains the same for the Warriors: The offense has the chance to explode at any time. Jupiter has one of the deepest lineups in Palm Beach County, if not in the state of Florida. Ole Miss signee Anthony Servideo, who is hitting .426 with 15 steals, leads off, and Florida State signee Reese Albert (.319, three home runs), LSU signee Mason Doolittle (.275, two home runs) and more follow. That lineup has a tough test Friday. The Warriors will likely face Wolves workhorse Bret Neilan, who has gone 14-0 and logged 93 innings this year. He has a minuscule 0.83 ERA and has not given up a run in 32 innings.