June 18, 2017

With the Coral Shores High baseball team opening the 2017 campaign on a 10-0 streak, Jose Lima’s senior season seemed to be going better than he could have expected.

Hodling a 4-0 record through those first 10 games, the Hurricane ace seemed to have his team on track to claim the South Florida Baseball Conference championship and potentially garner a spot in the 4A state tournament.

Down the stretch of the season, Lima continued to do everything in his ability to help his squad pick up victories, finish the season with a 7-2 record on the mound to go along with a Keys-best 2.54 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 46 innings of work that included three shutout performance. At the plate he was just as dominant batting a team-high .421 on the season (second best in the county) picking up 24 hits and 21 RBI with five doubles and a triple en route to becoming the Citizen’s All-Monroe County Player of the Year.

It would still not be enough, as injuries, illnesses and internal team issues kept the Hurricanes from reaching Lima’s goal this season of winning the SFBC crown.

“This season was good individually for me, but it wasn’t good as a team,” said Lima. “I had fun, but, in the end, the team chemistry just wasn’t there. I really wanted to win and get that conference championship and losing like that just puts a dimmer on it.”

After beginning the season on a 10-game win streak, Coral Shores’ first loss of the season would come against District 8-4A rival and state-ranked Westminster Christian and Lima said the wheels came off for the Hurricanes at that point of the season.

“We started pointing fingers and it just started piling on from there,” said Lima. “By the end of the season, we had Jake (Curry) injured, Aiden (Hawkins) was sick for the playoffs, other guys didn’t show up and we were just outmanned.”

Even though Lima was unable to drive his team to victory, his talent did not go unnoticed, in part to his mother setting up a website for Lima, as he drew attention from D-1 schools like Milwaukee and Alabama, where he had an offer to red shirt as a walk-on freshman.

“There was a (Alabama) scout at one of the games his summer ball coach was at and they got to talking about Jose,” said Coral Shores coach Jorge Bosque. “It was also when he had a really, really good game and at the end of the season they offered him an opportunity to come out and walk on. So he has a lot going on.”

Despite having an opportunity for a showcase in Alabama, Lima’s parents decided it would be best if he remains in Florida for his college years. So instead, he had a showcase for Florida International University on Saturday and another later this summer at University of Central Florida. If a scholarship arises from those workout, then Lima said he will certainly attend the college, if not, he will be heading to Inspirational Baseball Academy in Tampa.

“It’s a one-year thing to get you on the right path,” Lima said about the Academy. “A lot of the kids that go there, end up going to a D-1 school and my dad really wants me to stay in Florida, so that’s what we are going to do.

“I want something that is going to help me in the future,” he added. “I also want to go somewhere where I like the academics and it’s not all just focused on baseball. I have to like where I’m at.”

All this, of course, is in hopes of accomplishing his ultimate dream of playing baseball professionally, a goal he can still reach — unlike his last one of winning a SFBC championship that he was unable to complete in his final season in the green and gold.

“That’s my dream and I’m going to go hard every day and see if it’s possible,” said Lima. “I’m going to take baseball as far as I can go with it.”

jwcooke@keysnews.com