A high school sports year that began under the cloud and precautions of a worldwide pandemic is almost at the finish line.
Bolles hopes to cross it in first.
The Bulldogs (25-4) face Orlando’s The First Academy (29-1) on Monday morning at 10 in the Class 3A baseball state semifinal at CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers, looking to add one more title to a trophy case full of them.
Bolles has won eight state championships in program history, including back-to-back crowns in 2016-17. The Bulldogs were denied their quest to win three straight losing to Monsignor Pace in the 2018 final. Coach Mike Boswell has won two state titles with Bolles and another at Englewood.
The Bulldogs are the last area team standing in the spring sports season. Both Fleming Island (Class 6A) and St. Johns Country Day (2A) played for championships, but lost in those games.
Win or lose, when Bolles’ run ends, that puts a wrap on the 2020-21 high school sports season, a year that started out under the cloud of the pandemic but has ended with all state championships being played.
Of course, the senior-heavy Bulldogs don’t plan on things ending just yet.
The program’s 22nd state semifinal appearance is poised to be a pitching showcase.
Bolles has been tough with ace Jackson Baumeister on the mound. The Florida State signee hasn’t been charged with more than two runs in a game in any of his 13 appearances. In the state playoffs, Baumeister has logged 19 innings, struck out 37 and given up just nine hits. He shut Pensacola Catholic down in the regional final.
First Academy’s ace, left Isaac Sewell, is 14-0 with 105 Ks in 80 IP.
Jackson Mayo provided all the offense Bolles needed in the regional final, swatting a two-run homer as the difference. It was the team’s 23rd home run of the season.