Windermere baseball falls in title game, finishes historic 2024 season as state runner-ups

After first-ever regional title win and state championship game appearance, the Wolverines fall to Stoneman Douglas High in finals, 3-2.

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Windermere High baseball (28-4) fell to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High (26-5) in the 7A state championship game, 3-2, after a walk-off hit in extra innings on Saturday, May 18 — this is Stoneman Douglas’ fourth state championship in a row. 

The loss marks the end of the most successful season in Wolverines history, which saw Windermere win the most games in a single season (28), win its first regional championship and advance to the state title game for the first time. 

The 2024 Wolverines were led by its core of seniors. 

Outfielder Ty Head, an NC State commit and possible first-round MLB draft selection, was the offensive catalyst and leadoff hitter for the Wolverines; averaging .408 batting from the plate with 44 runs, 19 RBIs, two home runs and 28 stolen bases. 

First baseman Jack Waddingham, a Stetson commit, added to the offensive output with a .330 average, 26 RBIs and two homers; while pitcher Cannon Feazell, a Clemson commit, brought the heat from the mound as Windermere's ace. He had a 12-0 record, 1.54 ERA over 59 innings pitched and 50 strikeouts. 

Despite losing 14 seniors, Windermere does have a handful of key underclassmen set to return next season. 

Among the group is rising junior Randy Ruiz, who made the game-sealing diving catch against Timber Creek High (24-7) in the state semifinals to send the Wolverines to the title game. Along with his tremendous fielding, he also brings the offensive production to match, with an average of .396, 35 RBIs, 28 runs and three home runs. 

On the mound, rising senior pitcher Connor Fink should take over as the pitching staff's ace in 2025. Fink had a 1.93 ERA over 54.1 innings pitched, an 8-0 record and 36 strikeouts. 

Rising sophomore Joey Waddingham, who was primarily used as a middle reliever, should add depth behind Fink. 

After a phenomenal showing in 2024, it's clear Waddingham has the stuff to be one of the next great Wolverine pitchers. In his 34.2 innings pitched, he recorded an ERA of 0.81 and struck out 35 batters.

Another key playmaker who should return for coach Eric Lassiter is rising sophomore Diego Rodriguez, who was primarily used as a pinch runner. He scored 28 runs and stole 18 bases — both third-most on the team.

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