Cash Case's walk-off home run lifted The First Academy past visiting Clearwater Central Catholic 2-1 in the regional semifinals of the FHSAA Class 4A State Playoffs.
ORLANDO With one swing of the bat, Cash Case gave the baseball program at The First Academy its first appearance in a regional final since 1998.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, and the scored tied at 1-1 between the Royals and visiting Clearwater Central Catholic, the senior shortstop smoked a line-drive over the right field wall — sending his teammates into a frenzy as they poured out of the home dugout.
The 2-1 victory in the regional semifinals of the FHSAA Class 4A Playoffs means TFA (23-4) will now host undefeated Calvary Christian (27-0) in the regional final May 16.
"(The count was) 3-1 and I knew I was going to be getting a fastball," Case said. "When I hit it, I knew it was a line drive but I kind of figured it was going to go out — I squared it up well."
Afterward, Royals head coach Scott Grove said he had an inkling his senior standout might end it on his own.
"He's one of the best hitters in the country, he really is," Grove said of Case. "I had a feeling that he was going to do it."
The walk-off homer also preserved a win for TFA ace Joseph Charles, who allowed just one run in seven innings of work on the hill.
"Joseph Charles pitched a great game," Grove said. "He kept a low pitch-count and attacked the strike zone."
For Case and the Royals' other seniors, their varsity careers will live to see another week — and, with one more win, maybe even a Final Four.
"It's senior year," Case said. "We didn't want this to be our last game."
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].