The Lake Mary Boom defeated the DeLand Hammers in the Division 2 Championship Game on Friday, 4-3.
Lake Mary got out to a lead early, as Jacob French went opposite field for an RBI-triple in the bottom of the first. DeLand looked dangerous in the following inning, having runners on first and second with only 1 out. That is, until center-fielder David Baillio stepped up with the play of the day - catching a deep fly ball and gunning down Joseph DeSiena as he tried to advance to third. DeLand was threatening again in the 3rd, but could not break through leaving 2 runners on base. Lake Mary capitalized, scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the that inning via hits from French and Ryan Kurth. The Hammers finally broke through in the fourth, scoring 3 runs thanks to a ground-rule double from Dalton Robinson and a single from Zach Stanko.
As the game was tied 3-3 in the 6th, the game entered a lightning delay. Delays are something that Florida League players have adapted to, and can often be turning points in games. “Coming out of the rain delay, I could tell DeLand’s intensity was picking up,” said Boom head coach Shane Letterio. He told his team “We have got to match their intensity… or we may get run out of the building.” The Boom listened, and no one was as ready as third baseman Ryan Kurth. “At my school, we practice rain delays,” Kurth said. He felt prepared, adding that the key for him was “to stay calm and stay in the moment.” Well, he did exactly that, stepping up to the plate and hitting a leadoff home run in the bottom of the 6th - pushing the Boom to the 4-3 victory.
The Boom finished the season with only 2 losses, but an opening night run-rule defeat stuck with the team the whole year. “No one on the team really knew each other initially,” said outfielder Jacob French. Adding that the team “made some really good friendships and came a long way,” since game one. Coach Letterio added to that sentiment, stating “It was a great bunch of guys.” “Everyone on the team knew their role… all I had to do was write the lineup and let them play.”
The Florida League would like to thank all the players, coaches, and families that played a role in a successful summer! Congratulations to the runner-up DeLand Hammers, and to the 2021 Division II League Champions - the Lake Mary Boom!