By Kyle LoJacono
The 2010 Gaither High baseball team did things never done before at the school. While the Cowboys (21-4) were eliminated by Venice in the regional first round, the team continued its baseball tradition.
“We’ve only had one losing season since we started and that was the first year,” said Frank Permuy, who has been the only baseball coach at Gaither since it opened in 1984. “…We’ve had a great year. We’ve won 16 games in a row, which is a school record. We also are batting .380 as a team entering regionals and that’s the best team average we’ve ever had.”
Another baseball first came when the Cowboys won their 20th game of the season against Riverview April 22 — the first time Gaither has won 20 games in the regular season.
Before the record-setting season began, Permuy was inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Hall of Fame.
“That was a real honor,” Permuy said after hearing of the honor. “There are a lot of great coaches in the hall and I’m pleased to be among them. It’s something very special.”
While the Cowboys were upset in the Class 5A, District 9 tournament championship game by King, Gaither still made the regional tournament for the sixth straight season, according to the FHSAA.
“Alex and Dylan were really our top pitchers,” Permuy continued. “Alex had a tough time in the fall with tendonitis….He recovered from that and is our No. 1 pitcher. Dylan just always does the job. We bring him into shut any game down and he just has one of those arms that can throw almost every day.”
Hathcock, senior, had a 3-0 record with five saves and a 1.30 earned run average (ERA). He has signed to play at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro to study business administration.
“I’m really happy with it,” Hathcock said of his senior season. “The seniors and parents have been looking forward to this year because we knew we would have a good year.”
Hathcock throws a fastball, slider and changeup and has team-high 48 strikeouts to 15 walks during his 27 innings of work entering the regional tournament. As a closer, it is his job to get the final outs when the Cowboys are winning.
“I try to be as relaxed as possible on the mound,” Hathcock said. “I try to not let my emotions show or get the best of me.”
Milne, sophomore, led Gaither with eight wins. Of those wins, Hathcock saved two of them.
“It’s good to have someone as reliable as him coming out of the bullpen,” Milne said. “With runners on base he can get out of the inning without them scoring.”
Milne, who is left handed, says he is completely recovered from the shoulder injury that kept him out of Gaither’s fall season. He throws a fastball, curveball and changeup and posted a 2.95 ERA and recorded 32 Ks.
The offense has had several standouts, but the three seniors have made the most of their last seasons.
Third baseman Mike Danner had a .425 batting average, 29 runs scored, four homeruns and a team-leading 14 steals, 34 hits and 39 runs batted in (RBI). Before the season he signed to play at Polk Community College.
First baseman Brady North led the team with seven homers and 31 runs scored. He also batted .413, had 31 hits and 30 RBI. He has signed to play at Hillsborough County Community College.
Centerfielder Drew Doty will play at St. Petersburg College next year. He posted a .362 batting average, 28 runs scored, 29 hits and two homeruns at the plate. He was also a perfect 12 for 12 in stolen base attempts.
“They are all great to the underclassman and help us out when we need it,” Milne said. “They’ve seen a lot more and keep us calm when we need to.”
Permuy was happy to send the seniors out as winners.
“I think a good senior season can help springboard players the next year,” Permuy said. “They wanted to get to states, but they still had a great year…I think we’ll be able to be strong again next year because our underclass had a .360 batting average entering regionals and Alex will be back to lead the pitchers. I think we can have another good year next season.”
— All stats as recorded to Maxpreps.com by coaches as of May 7.
Gaither baseball achievements
- First 20 win regular season
- School record 16 straight wins
- School record .380 batting average
- Sixth straight regional tournament appearance
- Coach Frank Permuy inducted to the FHSAA Hall of Fame