Royal Palm Beach 6
Royal Palm Beach was able to battle back from an early deficit, defeating the Bolles Bulldogs by a score of 6-3 to win their first FHSI Championship in four tries.
Taylor Sellers got the scoring going in the top of the second when his base hit plated teammate Nick Toney. The RPB lead was short lived, though, as Bolles rallied in the bottom of the third inning. Russ Libby walked to leadoff the inning, and promptly stole second. One batter later, Austin Knight singled him home to tie the game. A walk to Clemente Inclan, followed by a passed ball put two runners in scoring position. Hunter Barco singled to plate Knight, and Nathan Skinner brough Inclan in on a sac fly to make it a 3-1 ballgame.
The Wildcats were ready to answer immediately in the top of the fourth. Tarik Latchmansingh singled to leadoff the inning, and moved to third on a Nick Toney single and error on the play. Alex Morejon, Taylor Sellers and JB Santiago all singled consecutively after that to score three runs, and take a 4-3 lead that they would not relinquish. To be safe, JB Santiago brought two more runs in on a double in the fifth inning, making the final score of 6-3.
Ryan Lange was nearly perfect in relief for the Wildcats. After joining the game with two outs in the third inning, Lange stranded two Bulldogs on base to end the third. He hit a batter to start the fourth inning, and then went on to retire the next twelve Bolles hitters in order to secure the Championship for Royal Palm Beach.
Lange struck out five in his 4.1 innings of work. Sellers was 3-4 with two RBI for Royal Palm, while teammate JB Santiago went 2-4 with three RBI of his own. Austin Knight had two hits, a run and an RBI to lead the Bolles offense.
The Gainesville Hurricanes and Hillwood Hilltoppers found themselves in pitcher's battle before the Canes were able to break through late to secure a win, 5-0.
Rolley Hunt (Hillwood) and Luke Marquis (Gainesville) were excellent to start the game. In fact, the first batter to reach base in the game didn't happen until the bottom of the fourth inning. The Hilltoppers threatened in the top of the fifth, loading the bases, but Marquis was able to coax a couple of groundballs to get out of the jam. With a second life, the Gainesville offense came to life in the bottom half, scoring twice on a Nico Samarkos RBI single and an error. Three more runs would come across in the sixth, highlighted by a two-run base hit from Sean Wiggs.
Hillwood was never able to put Marquis in a tough spot, managing only three hits on the day. In six innings of work, Marquis recorded ten strikeouts against two walks. Wiggs scored twice and drove in two to lead the Canes offense. Gainesville finishes the Classic with a 3-1 record, while Hillwood will head back to Nashville 0-4.
Winter Springs 1
The Boone Braves put together a late rally to overcome an early deficit, and hold on for a 4-1 win over the Winter Springs Bears on Friday morning at Seminole High School.
Each team threatened in the first inning, but ultimately left two runners on. Winter Springs would not make the same mistake in the second when they scored on a Parker Laffrey base hit that plated Hunter Lofgren. The third, fourth and fifth innings brought little excitement as Kenjin Claudio (Winter Springs) and Trent Lamos (Boone) shut down the offenses.
The Bears brought in a reliever in the sixth inning, and Boone was able to take advantage. With one out and the bases loaded, Howard Rodriguez put the Braves on the board with a single. Jack Dixson was then hit with a pitch to bring in another run. Chris Jones furthered the damage with a single of his own. A wild pitch two batters later would plate the final run of the inning for Boone, giving them a 4-1 lead that Gavin Galy was able to protect by pitching a perfect seventh inning.
In fact, Galy was perfect for all three of his innings pitched, earning the win. Chris Jones led the Boone offense, going 3-3 with an RBI and a walk. The Braves finish the week with a 3-1 mark, while Winter Springs ended 2-2.
Vero Beach 6
University Christian 2
The Fighting Indians of Vero Beach jumped out to an early lead on University Christian and didn't look back, taking home the their FHSI Classic finale by a score of 6-2.
David Luethje opened things up with a leadoff single, and was moved to third in a base hit from Tyler Randolph. A groundball from Nick Dean during the next at bat scored Luethje, making it 1-0. Poor defense in the fourth inning by University Christian allowed Vero to expand their lead. With two outs in the frame, five straight hitters reached base thanks to a walk, error, single, single and error. By the end of the inning, three more runs had come across, making it 4-0. Luethje would then come through again in the sixth, scoring two with an RBI single, his third hit of the day.
The Christians attempted a rally in the sixth, scoring on twice on three hits. Dylan Richman and Gage Dixon each picked up RBIs in the inning, but it wasn't enough as reliever Hunter Patteson stranded two on base to end the inning.
Luethje led all hitters, going 3-5 with two runs and three RBI. Gage Dixon had two hits and drove in one for the Christians. Vero Beach wraps up their week with a 2-2 record. University Christian will head back to Jacksonville with a record of 1-3.
The Highland Hawks offense was able to score early and often against the Suncoast Chargers, taking home their matchup by a score of 7-3.
The Hawks scored once in the first, three times in the second and twice in the third to give starter Josh Pittman plenty of cushion to work with. Jacob Zoler picked up RBI in the first and second innings, and teammate Ty Gravett snagged a pair of steaks with a two-run double as well.
Suncoast had a big inning in the third when a RBI double from Nathan Brodsky and two RBI from Jack Virden gave them three runs, but that would be all the offense they could muster.
Pittman threw the first four innings for Highland, allowing three runs on three hits while striking out five. He was relieved by Timmy Stephan, who fired three perfect innings with two strikeouts to secure the win. Pittman was also effective with the bat, going 2-3 with two RBI ... a feat also accomplished by Zoller and Gravett.
Atlantic Community 2
Orangewood Christian 0
Cameron Husing and the Atlantic Community Eagles were able to outlast the Orangewood Christian Rams 2-0 on Friday afternoon.
In the bottom of the second, Justin Varisco single to start the inning, and was bunted over to second. The next batter, Matt Sheridan, was then able to bring him home on a single. Two batters later, Rian Cyr singled home Austin Saunders, making the score 2-0.
The rest of the game lacked offense as neither team was able to score again. Husing threw five innings for the Eagles, five hits, no runs, two walks and striking out four. Cadarius Gaskin then replaced him and fired two perfect in the sixth and seventh, racking up four strikeouts of his own. Christian Simon took the tough loss for the Rams. Outside of the 2nd inning, he did not allow a run or hit.
Atlantic Community ends the Classic with a 2-2 record. Orangewood finished 0-4.
American Heritage 2
3rd Place Game
Good pitching and strong team defense was the key to a 2-1 victory for American Heritage over the Hagerty Huskies in the FHSI Classic 3rd place game on Friday afternoon.
With two outs in the first, Carmine Lane manufactured the first run of the game single handedly. He singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, stole third and then scored on a balk to give the Stallions a 1-0 lead. They would add another run in the third inning on a Chris Ferara base hit that scored Michael Malinchak.
Starting pitcher Eli Zuckerman kept the Huskies heeled for most of the game, until the sixth inning. Cameron Beams hit a sac fly in the bottom half, scoring Cameron Alba. Kevin Shulman was called on out of the bullpen and promptly shut down the Huskies rally, leaving the bases loaded by inducing a groundball out. Shulman then fired a scoreless seventh inning for the save.
Both teams finish the Classic with 2-2 records.
A late rally from the Olympia Titans gave them just enough to take out Seminole High School on Thursday afternoon.
The Titans held a 3-2 lead until the fifth inning when Seminole exploded for five runs. After a walk and a hit batter, Matt Allan stroked a double into the gap, scoring two runs. Another walk and a fielder's choice allowed the Seminoles to load the bases. Scott Fickas then hit a bases clearing double, giving Seminole a 7-3 lead.
After a scoreless sixth, the first two batters of the seventh were retired for Olympia. Then Kenial Deleon walked. That was followed by singles from Jeslyn Whitehead and Francis Villaman, loading the bases. A walk to Collin McMahon drew a walk, scoring Deleon. Then Brendan Riley was hit by a pitch, scoring Whitehead. Jax Bambei then stepped up and delivered a single that scored Villaman and McMahon. A wild pitch would bring in Riley, giving the Titans an 8-7 lead. Villaman tossed a scoreless seventh, earning the win for Olympia. He was also 3-4 at the plate.
Olympia finishes the week 3-1; Seminole went 2-2 during the week.
San Gorgonio 3
Timber Creek 2
San Gorgonio will head back to California on a high note after defeating the Timber Creek Wolves by a score of 3-2 on Friday night.
The Spartans jumped out to an early lead i the first on an Angel Ochoa sac fly that scored Raul Genera. They would add two insurance runs in the fifth inning, which turned out to be very important.
Starting pitcher Dylan Kanoho was able to keep the dangerous Wolves offense in check all game long until the bottom of the seventh. Back to back doubles from Isa Mamudoski and Brett Nielan put the first run of the inning on the board. After two groundball outs, Cameron Meehan sent a ball to the gap for a triple, scoring Nielan, making it 3-2. With the tying run on third base, Kanoho was able to coax a groundball to the shortstop to end the threat and the game.
Both teams end the tournament with 2-2 records.