The Out-of-Door Academy baseball program finds themselves two wins away from the programs first ever state title. The way the Thunder arrived in the Class 2A final four was no easy task. Watch the video on SNN
“One of the, if not the most, emotional games I’ve ever been a part of as a player or a coach,” first year head coach of Out-of-Door Academy baseball Mike Mathews said.
Trailing Fort Myers Canterbury by three runs in the seventh inning of the 2A-region 3 semifinal, ODA junior outfielder, Logan Tribble smacked a go-ahead grand slam, putting the Thunder in front for good against their old rival. “We hadn’t beaten them yet, at least as long as I’ve been here, and it [the go-ahead grand slam] helped,” Tribble said.
"To be able to experience that emotional positive feeling was unlike anything else,” Mathews said.
So what makes this 2021 Out-of-Door team different than those that came before? Familiarity with one another. The majority of the players on Mathews' team came up playing with one another on the ODA middle school program. “I’ve played with a lot of these guys since I was 12 years-old, I went to Cooperstown with five or six of them, you just have chemistry there,” Tribble said.
“We have a winning tradition here and those kids are proud of it and they want to continue it — so that is what we try and do year in and year out,” Mathews said.
Out-of-Door comes into their final four game against Lake Worth Trinity Christian Academy red-hot, winners of 7 straight. “Our bats have woken up more than ever, Tribble said. "Everyone is getting hits from the top of the order to the bottom of the order.”
No one in the Thunder dugout is ready for this magical 2021 ride to end.
“The community outreach, in terms of people reaching out to say congratulations and offering help if we need anything has been really special.” Out-of-Door plays Wednesday, 1 p.m., at Hammond Stadium at CenturyLink Sports Complex, Fort Myers.