After suffering a tender elbow in the off-season, Lakewood Ranch High pitcher Seth McGarry spent much of the season serving as the Mustangs DH.
But with his elbow finally starting to heal, the Mustangs looked to their ace to lead them into the postseason.
After capturing their first district title since 2003, McGarry got the call on the mound for the Mustangs in their Class 6A-Region 3 quarterfinal versus Tampa Sickles May 3.
The right-hander, who was making just his third start of the season, threw 55 pitches through five innings, allowing three hits and striking out five, while leading Lakewood to an 8-1 victory.
McGarry returned to the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning of Lakewood’s regional semifinal against Tampa King and struck out the Lions final two batters to preserve the Mustangs 6-4 victory.
Riding an emotional high, McGarry started for Lakewood in the regional final versus Winter Haven May 11. McGarry pitched his first complete game of the season, allowing two hits and three walks while striking out eight, en route to leading the Mustangs to their first regional championship since 2003.
McGarry pitched his final game in a Mustangs uniform in the Class 6A state semifinals May 17, at Digital Domain Park in Port St. Lucie.
Following the Mustangs postseason run, McGarry was named to the Florida Athletic Coaches Association All-State and All-Academic Teams. He was the only East County player to make both teams.
The Mustangs ace signed with Florida Atlantic University, where he hopes to make an impact for the Owls. McGarry saw his first collegiate game action in Florida Atlantic’s 8-1 victory over Team British Columbia in a fall exhibition game Oct. 24.
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Food and fun
The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and its Young Leaders Alliance have something to talk about: the organizations collected 764 pounds of nonperishable food and $1,295 cash to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee/Meals on Wheels PLUS.
River Club’s Cheryl Kaufman says she’s still pinching herself.
A little “Ho! Ho! Ho!” can go a long way this holiday season.