In a bid to become the first athletic program in Miami-Dade County to ever win state titles in three different sports in the same school year, the South Dade Senior High Buccaneers baseball team scored the hat trick with a 3-1 victory over Valrico Bloomingdale in the Class 8A final.
On a Saturday night in May at JetBlue Park in Ft. Myers, with their ace pitcher Erik Manoah on ice recovering from his third complete game the night before, it was up to junior Jose Gorordo, who delivered 52/3 solid innings allowing only one unearned run and three hits. Menoah did pick up his second save of the state playoffs striking out two batters in 11/3 innings of relief. For the regionals and state playoffs, Manoah pitched 241/3 innings allowing only one run and striking out 25.
“I’ve been around a little bit and I’ve coached a lot of great competitors and one that immediately comes to mind is [former Marlins pitcher] Alex Fernandez,” Burnside said. “Erik is as ferocious a competitor. He’s a handful to manage, but that’s what gets him his edge.”
Mayor Jeff Porter had a few encouraging words for the hometown heroes. “The way I saw that team play prior to going on the road and bringing this title back to Homestead, I had a feeling they were going to emerge victorious. Coach Burnside and his players and staff have done an amazing job and will forever be in the history books. It’s a proud day in Homestead!”