OHS Brahmans beat Dwyer, face Martin County in regional baseball semifinal on May 15

OKEECHOBEE – It didn’t take long for Okeechobee High School to take the lead in its regional quarterfinal playoff game against Dwyer on May 8.

In the top of the first inning, the Brahmans were already down two outs when OHS senior Sean Osceola stepped to the plate. S. Osceola took one ball and fouled off a pitch before belting a high fly ball over the left-field fence for a home run.

Dwyer pitcher Ryan Wimbush, who is committed to play for the University of Miami, walked the next two batters before settling down, getting the final out and limiting the Brahman lead to 1-0.

S. Osceola was also on the mound for Okeechobee for the night, and did his part to protect the lead his home run gave his team. S. Osceola allowed four hits and zero runs in the five innings he pitched.

After the rocky first inning, Wimbush was able to dominate the next four innings, striking out seven batters in that time span. But in the top of the sixth, the Brahmans were able to add an insurance run to their lead. A single and a walk got two Okeechobee runners on base, and Brahman Jared Joyner bombed a sacrifice fly out to right field that was able to bring one run in and increase their lead to 2-0.

However, the Panthers proved in their district championship game that no lead against them was safe. In their last game, Dwyer was down 3-0 to West Boca heading into the seventh inning, but scored four runs in the final innings to knock out West Boca and become the District 14 champions.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Panthers attempted to conjure some of that come-back magic. OHS senior Mason Adams stepped onto the pitcher’s mound to relieve S. Osceola and secure the playoff victory for the Brahmans. Dwyer batters were able to draw two walks in their first at-bats; with runners on first and second, it looked like they might put on a repeat performance of their dramatic comeback. But after a bunt by Dwyer went back to the pitcher, Adams was able to grab the ball and throw out the runner at third. And shortly before the next pitch, Adams caught a Panther base runner stealing third, throwing him out as well. Finally, to put an exclamation mark on the inning, Adams struck out the next batter swinging. If Dwyer wanted to come back in this game, they were gonna have to work for it.

But, ultimately, the Panthers’ magic ran out and Okeechobee was able to come away with the playoff victory 2-0.

Immediately after the game, S. Osceola, who had a home run and pitched five innings in the win, signed to play at Pasco-Hernando State College (PHSC) located in Tampa. Associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for PHSC Lyndon Coleman signed Osceola and was in attendance at the playoff game.

The win moves Okeechobee into the regional semifinal, where the Brahmans will face longtime rival Martin County, a thorn in Okeechobee’s side all season.

Okeechobee has faced Martin three times this year, including the district championship, and every meeting resulted in a Brahman loss. The closest the team has gotten to beating their rival was the March 3 game with the final score of 5-4. Brady Markham had two hits in that game and Joyner had two RBIs.

The two teams will face off in the regional semifinal at 7 p.m. on May 15 at Martin County High School.

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