Tragic loss fuels undefeated Sarasota Christian baseball team

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Posted: Monday, April 8, 2013 9:42 pm | Updated: 9:07 pm, Tue Apr 23, 2013.

SARASOTA - With Monday night’s 3-0 victory against Southeast High, the Sarasota Christian baseball team had begun the season with 20 straight wins. They are a team on a mission, but it’s a mission that is more important than baseball.

It is a team that has all the bases covered so to speak. "They are playing hard, they know my system out here, they're hitting the ball well, they are pitching well…they are doing everything right right now," says head coach Chris Lee.

They have 3 senior captains, 2 of whom have been with this team since they were freshman, so it is important to them that this year be the year. “Yeah, it’s really good as a senior when all your guys come together. We have good chemistry and everyone is hitting the ball," says shortstop Chad Miller.

And it would seem that they have gotten their wish as they have begun this season 20-0. "It's a great start. We can’t get too ahead of ourselves. We have to take it game to game, but it’s a great accomplishment and we have been working together well," says 3rd baseman and pitcher Taylor Briggs.

The fact that they have won 20 straight this season is amazing, but it is even more powerful, and poignant, when you know that they dedicated this season to the memory of Stephanie Lee, their head coach's wife who died of cancer in February, just before the season. "When we are in the huddle, sometimes he starts tearing up, and it’s really tough to see him like that. She was an awesome person at school to have, and she was always kind and had a smile on her face. We really miss her," says Miller.

Coach Lee tried to tell ABC 7 what it meant to him, his guys having his back, but he was overcome with emotion. This season is this team's way of honoring Stephanie, but also giving Chris some happiness in his life right now. "We come out here and do a chant, ‘1-2-3-Lee’ before every game. We really do think about it, playing for her. Losing her was really…hard on us. I am glad we get to respect her by winning," says Briggs.

However the season unfolds, this team has bonded on and off the field, and given their coach a light in his life -- or 16 sets of footprints in the sand as they carry him at a time when he needed it most. “We are always praying, praying for his family, thinking about her, and playing for her this year," says Miller.

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