Prep baseball: Estero, Naples hoping to remember to forget in regional semifinals Tuesday

Regional semifinals

Tuesday

Class 6A

Ida Baker at Naples, 7 p.m.

Class 5A

Estero at Mariner, 7 p.m.

Getting to the regional finals isn't about what you've done in the postseason so far, Naples High coach Rick Turner said. It's about what you'll do moving forward.

"What it boils down to is which team can forget the last game and those emotional peaks," Turner said.

That might favor Naples in Tuesday's regional semifinals. The Golden Eagles proved last week that they have short memories, bouncing back from an ugly loss in the district final to beat Cape Coral-Island Coast on the road.

Naples hosts Cape Coral-Baker in a Class 6A regional semifinal, while Estero plays at Cape Coral-Mariner in a 5A regional game.

The Eagles (19-8) gave up 10 runs in the first inning of a loss in the district championship. A week later, Naples fell five runs behind Island Coast in the third inning of Thursday's quarterfinal before winning in extra innings.

Naples won its first regional game in three years — since it won a state championship in 2009 — thanks to lively bats. The Eagles scored 12 runs on 18 hits, but committed four errors.

"That's going to be the key," Turner said. "We need to play better defense and continue to hit well offensively."

Estero was strong in all three phases of the game in a 6-0 win over Cape Coral in the regional quarterfinals. The Wildcats (26-2) had six hits and committed no errors, while starter Matt Pearce gave up just four hits in a complete game.

Between the two of them, Estero and Mariner haven't lost in five weeks. The Wildcats have won 24 straight since opening the year 2-2, while Mariner (22-6) hasn't lost since March 28.

The Tritons have won nine straight since the loss, which happened to be against Estero. Though the Wildcats have trucked through their opponents during their winning streak, outscoring the 24 teams 234-24, they managed just a 2-0 win at home against Mariner.

Estero had just three hits in that game, and Mariner wasn't even throwing its ace, Jason Carmichael. The 6-foot-3 Tritons senior is 6-1 this year with a 1.26 earned-run average.

"Discipline is going to be our No. 1 battle because Carmichael throws well," Estero coach Frank Turco said. "We can't swing at his pitches; we have to wait for our pitches."

Kyle Miller will start for the Wildcats. A 6-3 senior like his counterpart, Miller has allowed just two earned runs in 52 innings this season for a 0.27 ERA.

Winners advance to regional finals Friday. If Estero wins, it will host either Plantation-American Heritage or Pompano Beach. If Naples wins, it will go on the road at either Southwest Ranches-Archbishop McCarthy or Miami-Belen Jesuit.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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