The beat goes on for the Bishop Kenny baseball team.
Another game with excellent pitching, a hallmark during its playoff run, delivered the Crusaders a 4-1 win over Tampa Jefferson in the Class 4A state semifinals on Friday at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.
Kenny will play in its first state championship game since 2008 on Saturday at 5 p.m. against either Miami Sunset or North Marion. For Tommy Edwards, it’s his second trip as head coach to the final. Nearly 15 years ago to the day — May 17, 2008 — Edwards, then in his third season leading Kenny, beat Fort Myers Riverdale 9-3 for the second state championship in Crusaders history.
Getting a third would be special for Edwards and the Crusaders. Kenny started out 1-4, including a 2-0 loss to final four team North Marion. Once things clicked, they clicked. Pitching has been spectacular in the postseason and that continued on Friday.
Jack Newman continued a torrid stretch for Crusaders hurlers with a complete game two-hitter. Previously, Ben Monger had fired 16.1 straight innings of no-hit ball down the stretch. Newman was responsible for the other win, another two-hit game, in a win on the road at No. 1 seed South Walton.
Trey Seeker had two of Kenny’s six hits and drove in a pair of runs. The Crusaders pushed a run across in the bottom of the second and three more over in the fourth, giving Newman a 4-0 lead. He never came close to letting that go.