|photo by Paul Videla|
The Hurricanes and Mustangs were eliminated from their respective regional and state baseball tournaments by teams that eventually won state titles.
Venice, which knocked Manatee out of the Class 7A-Region 3 semifinals, defeated Brandon 4-2 on Sunday to claim the Class 7A state championship.
Manatee beat Venice three times in five tries and won the District 11 title at the Indians' expense. But Venice scored a win when it counted the most and the program has a baseball state championship for the second time since 2007.
The Mustangs' furious rally against Archbishop McCarthy was cut short during a Class 6A state semifinal, and McCarthy defeated Pace 4-3 the next day to clinch title.
It was third consecutive state championship for the Mavericks.
Lakewood Ranch hadn't reached the state baseball final four since the 2003 edition won the school's first team baseball championship.
Nationally-ranked Tampa Jesuit, which beat Bayshore in the opening round of the Class 5A-Region 3 tournament, lost in the state semifinals to Plantation American Heritage.