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State champion Jupiter baseball team honored at Marlins game


The Jupiter baseball team got a taste of their dreams as a reward for their state title.

The Miami Marlins brought the Class 9A state champions onto the field before Tuesday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks so they could watch the visitors take batting practice, then honored them on the field after the second inning.

“It’s a cool experience, just to see, hopefully, where I’ll be in the future,” said Warriors ace Jake Garland, who was a first-team All-Area pick this year.

Jupiter coach Andy Mook, who was named the Class 9A Florida Coach of the Year and The Post’s Large Schools Coach of the Year, said the chance to see Major League players take batting practice up close was too good to pass up.

“I think it was great for them just to be able to see what we do and what the pros do,” Mook said, “kind of take it in a little bit. … How many times are you ever going to be able to do this?”

The Warriors, who finished 20-11, went on a wild ride en route to the program’s first state title. Jupiter scored four runs with two outs in the seventh inning to keep its district-title hopes alive against Palm Beach Central, then won the game in extra innings. The Warriors went on to win their next three games to earn a trip to Fort Myers.

In the state semifinals, Jupiter scored eight runs in the sixth inning to turn a 4-1 deficit into an eventual 9-4 win against Miami-Columbus. The Warriors played for the title that same night but showed no signs of tiring. They beat Orlando-Timber Creek, the team that eliminated them in the state semifinals last year, to clinch the championship.

“A rollercoaster, but it mainly showed the resilience of them,” Mook said. “No matter what, they fought for one another, they played for one another, they left it all on the field for one another. It didn’t matter if you’re a full-time starter, a courtesy runner, a relief pitcher that might not get in the game, a starter — it didn’t matter. They all were like, ‘Hey, we’re putting it all together for each other.’ ”

Jupiter has gotten its share of accolades since it won the championship. The Warriors were No. 8 in Florida and No. 1 in their class in ThePrepZone.com’s final poll of the season, and Baseball America ranked them 22nd in the nation.

Jupiter also had two first-team All-Area picks, one second-team pick and four honorable mentions.

Mook said coming down to the game could be a nice carrot to dangle over next year’s team, helping motivate them to get back to Fort Myers and repeat as champions.

“You’ve got to use everything you can for motivation,” Mook said.



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