Home Sports Local Sports Dexter’s dream ends in semifinal

Dexter’s dream ends in semifinal

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Jeannie Harris Photo Dexter’s Matt Otero throws a pitch during a game earlier this season.

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After the last out, a lazy fly ball to right field, there was a collective sigh from the Dexter Demon fans. Nobody knew what to do next or how to comfort the team and the two seniors — Matt Otero, who has come the furthest in his play, attitude and leadership, and the the quiet Fernando Polanco. For the left-handed hitting Polanco, this was it for him.

“We battled all the way through,” Polanco said. “We gave all we had, they’re a good team.”

He has no desire to play baseball at the next level, so it was understandable that tears washed his face in sadness at the thought of never wearing a Dexter jersey again and never being around his boys, day in and day out for a season.

“It feels awful,” Otero said. “We just have to tip our hats to them, they’re a good team. We played our hearts out and it wasn’t our day.”

The reality is that after coach Arturo Duran gathered them one last time, it hit them that it was over with. In nine innings of play they could not advance runners, get hitters out when needed and swung at bad pitches. Their season was over with with a 12-4 loss to their nemesis, Estancia, 12-4 Thursday at Cleveland High School in the semifinal game.

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Estancia wasted no time jumping on the Demons by scoring three runs in the first inning. Dexter would mount a comeback and score a run over the next four innings. They used three pitchers and while they scored one run an inning, Estancia had big innings in which they scored four runs in the fourth inning and five runs in the sixth. Every time Dexter would make a run at them, they would swing at a bad pitch or make an out to leave the bases loaded, and twice they did that to end the inning — and ultimately, their season.

“Hats off to them (Estancia),” Duran said. “They hit the ball when they needed and we didn’t. That was the difference in the game, they could produce runs and we couldn’t. We left too many runners on bases. That’s baseball. We can’t do that against a good team. We have a good program in Dexter and kids to work with, we’ll be back. We played in the state game in 2014 and was runner-up, we just have to keep working.”