SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Viera Hawks vs. King Lions Class 7A Regional Baseball Finals
By Alan Zlotorzynski, Assistant Editor // May 23, 2017
SPACE COAST DAILY SPORTS TALK
BREVARD’S BEST SPORTS COVERAGE: Alan Zlotorzynski, Orville Susong and Steve Wilson will be on the call for the Friday Night Locker Room and Space Coast Daily starting with Space Coast Daily Sports Talk at 6 p.m., followed by the Viera vs. King play-by-play at 7 p.m.
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BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – The town of Viera is not only one of the fastest growing areas in Brevard County but it is one of the fastest growing areas in the Sunshine state.
Growing perhaps even faster is the sports at Viera High School, as the Hawks have developed into one of the area’s premier athletic programs
Since opening its doors in 2006, led by Athletic Director Chris Gallagher, the school has won state championships in girls and boys diving, wrestling and won back to back state titles in girls soccer.
The football team played for the state title in 2015 and under head coach Kevin Mays has become one of central Florida’s toughest teams.
You can now add baseball to the mix, as the Hawks have advanced to their first ever Regional final today vs. Tampa’s King High School.
A victory for head coach Bob Doty’s team and it’s onto the Final 4 in Ft. Myers next week.
The 20-8 Hawks have won three District Championships (2013, 16, 17) and with just five seniors graduating, are primed for success into the future.
Doty, who just finished his sixth season with the Hawks has compiled an impressive mark of 109-53 (.672) during his tenure.
In 2016 Doty led his Hawks to their second 20 win season going 23-5 along with the Hawks second District Championship and second Regional Quarterfinal Tournament win.
In 2013 he also led the Hawks to their first 20 win season going 20-8, a Sarasota Baseball Classic Spring Break Championship and the Hawks first ever District Championship.
This year’s team is as well rounded a team as Viera has fielded. They do two things very well that lead to championships, the Hawks pitch well and they play defense.
As a team Viera committed just 31 errors all season and enters today game with an impressive .961 fielding percentage.
On the mound the Hawks are led by several solid hurlers.
Senior Tyler Sexton and Junior Thomas Berry were a combined 13-1 this season with an amazing 0.67 earned run average in 88 combined innings pitched.
As a squad the pitching staff allowed the opposition to bat just .167 and possessed a 2.24 ERA. The unit struck out 174 batters in 184 total innings pitched.
In the batter’s box Viera batted .321 as a team, scoring an average of six runs per game. Sophomore Andrew Brait led the Hawks with a .459 batting average in 27 games this season.
The offense has been given a boost by the return of senior slugger Christian Robinson.
Robinson missed a good portion of the season with an injury but in just 29 at bats since his return has hit four home runs and is batting .414.
Robinson is considered a Major League Baseball prospect and could be drafted as high as the sixth round in next month’s MLB Draft.
SCOUTING THE LIONS:
The King Lions were a district runner-up but don’t that doesn’t matter this time of the year.
On the mound is expected to be left hander Senior Brian Lee.
Lee has been outstanding on the bump this season. He threw a complete game against rival Hillsborough last week to get the win and is 10-3 with a 1.10 ERA.
King is not a power hitting team but they play small ball by bunting and stealing bases and get enough timely hits to frustrate teams and win.
A couple of seniors lead the way as Dehreon Pressley is hitting .374 with eight RBIs and Matthew Jernigan is hitting .333 with 14 RBIs.
They are also coached by the legendary Jim Macaluso who just finished season number 41 as King’s baseball coach.
Back in March he reached a huge milestone by winning game No.600 and in early April managed his 1,000 game for his high school Alma Mater.
That’s right, Macaluso also went to school at King, he is a 1966 graduate.
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