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Jupiter gets revenge against Timber Creek, wins first state title

The Jupiter Warriors won their first state title against the Orlando Timber Creeks (Sun Sentinel)

This Jupiter team may not have had the talent it had last year, but if there’s one thing these Warriors had, it was resiliency.

They were resilient in winning the district title after being seeded third with double-digit losses in the regular season. The same goes for how they reached Saturday’s final after trailing by three runs in the sixth inning in the semifinal against Miami Columbus earlier Saturday.

But Jupiter showed the most resiliency by winning its first state championship Saturday night after losing a catcher that was committed LSU (Mason Doolittle), a shortstop that ended up at Ole Miss (Anthony Servideo) and an outfielder now at FSU (Reese Albert), among several talented seniors off last season’s team.

The Warriors took down Orlando Timber Creek, the team that eliminated them in a state semifinal last year, 6-3 at Fort Myers’ CenturyLink Sports Complex to bring home the Class 9A crown.

“[We] have got talent, not as much as maybe some years past with all these D-I commits that we’ve had before, but they’ve got heart, they’ve got soul, they’ve got grit and then they’re a family,” Jupiter coach Andy Mook said. “Since playoffs started and toward the end of the season, these guys have been pretty much on a ride.”

Players, after dogpiling on the mound, celebrating with the trophy and pouring Gatorade on Mook, pulled up his left sleeve and pointed at his upper arm where the Jupiter tattoo he promised them is supposed to go. Mook, a Chicago Cubs fan, got one on his right shoulder after the Cubs won the World Series in 2016 and said he would do the same if the Warriors won it all.

FAU signee Mitch Hartigan tossed five innings, allowing three runs on four hits for Jupiter (20-11). He was perfect the first time through the order and got the first two outs in the first before surrendering his first hit.

“When I heard that I was getting the ball for tonight, I was ready. I’ve been ready, and nobody was going to beat me,” Hartigan said. “We fought like we did to get back here this year and we had so much talent on the team last year.

“We were honestly a favorite last year. Meanwhile, we were underdogs this year, but it’s destiny and we got our revenge.”

Mikey Robinson's bases-clearing triple ignites Jupiter in state semifinal victory

The Wolves’ momentum from the first run off Hartigan in the fourth was short-lived after Peter Cowley hit a two-run double as part of a three-run top of the fifth to put the Warriors up, 6-1.

“Coming back, beating these guys after they knocked us out last year, it’s just great,” Cowley said. “That definitely motivated us.”

Timber Creek (22-8) got two back in the bottom of the inning on Marcos Roque’s double down the third-base line, but that would be it for the Wolves as Charles Fishbaugh pitched the final two innings to close it out.

Jupiter scored three runs in the third inning to take the initial lead. Hartigan hit a hard chopper to third that wasn’t handled and ruled an error that allowed two runs to score. Cowley pushed home another on a grounder to short.

Ricky Clark went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI.

Roque singled to right in the fourth for the first hit off Hartigan, and he was eventually driven in by Parker Wood on a sharp single through the left side. Hartigan escaped a bases-loaded jam with no further damage by striking out pinch-hitter Diddier Cancel.

The Warriors got to Saturday night’s title game by coming back from being down, 4-1, with an eight-run sixth inning to win, 9-4, against Columbus early Saturday afternoon. Timber Creek reached the final by topping Orlando Dr. Phillips in the morning for a 9 a.m. first pitch. With the championship finishing at 11:30, the Wolves started and finished playing more than 14 hours apart on Saturday.

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