Pine Crest 5
Miami Palmetto 2
It was a battle of Panthers to open up play in the FHSI Challenge. A strong outing from Pine Crest starter Jordan Schulefand helped them to a win over Miami Palmetto, 5-2, on Monday morning.
Pine Crest jumped to an early lead in the first inning. Jacob Singer singled to start the game, and moved to second base on a balk. One batter later, catcher Michael Rothenberg singled to left field to bring home the run. Palmetto would get the run back in the third inning when Dickson Aburto singled home Tyler Pedraza, who had reached on an error.
The next action would come in the fifth on a costly error by Palmetto. Schulefand earned a walk with one out in the inning. An errant throw on a pickoff attempt rolled down the right field fence, allowing the speedy pitcher to come all the way around to score, making it 2-1. Pine Crest then added another pair of runs in the sixth on RBIs from Jake Kessinger and Andrew Bell.
Palmetto finally got to Schulefand in the bottom of the sixth. An RBI double from Aburto made the score 4-2, and chased the starter from the game. With two runners on, Jake Solomon was able to get three straight outs to end the threat. In the seventh, Rothenberg sent a moonshot over the right field fence to make the final of 5-2.
Schulefand's final line read five innings pitched, two hits, two runs (zero earned) and three strikeouts. Solomon earned the save with two perfect innings of relief, striking out three. Rothenberg had two hits to lead Pine Crest, while Aburto had both hits and both RBI for Palmetto.
The Westfield Bulldogs were able to take advantage of sloppy defense from the Mourning Sharks, scoring ten times in their victory on Monday afternoon.
At least one run was scored in each of the first six half-innings, as both teams struggled to make consistent plays in the field. Holding on to a 4-3 lead, the Bulldogs blew the game on the bottom of the fourth inning.
Eleven Bulldogs stepped to the plate in the inning, with eight of them reaching base via four hits, three walks and an error. The Sharks did not help themselves on the mound, throwing three wild pitches in the inning. Zach Booth plated two with a single, while Kevin Ciocco and Rahmen Johnson also added RBI.
Mourning would add one in the fifth and one in the seventh to make it 10-5, the game's final score.
Antonio Buckley earned the win on the mound for Westfield, throwing five innings of three run baseball. He scattered six hits and struck out six. Danny Leo tossed the final two innings, racking up four strikeouts. Sam Hockett and Ben Rothwell each had a run and two RBI to lead the Bulldog offense. Jim Varona went 2-3 with a double, one run and two RBI to lead Mourning.
Cypress Bay 9
South Dade 8
A back and forth slugfest needed extra time to rule a winner. In the end, a clutch late rally allowed Cypress Bay to walk off winners in their first game of the FHSI, winning 9-8 over the South Dade Buccaneers.
Cypress Bay jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double from Hector Lozada and a sac fly from Carlos Salaverria. South Dade was quick to respond in the top of the second, plating three runs on singles from Lazaro Gonzales and Kevin Cardentey. Jake Schultz would knot things up in the bottom of the second with groundout RBI.
In the third inning, it was Elliott Rodriguez's turn to drive in runs for the Lightning, scoring two with a double, making it 5-3. Both teams gave the scoreboard a rest in the fourth inning, before resuming the fireworks in the fifth. The highlight of the game happened when pinch-hitter David Garcia sent a 3-2 pitch over the wall with the bases loaded for a grand slam that gave the Bucs a 7-5 advantage.
Cypress Bay refused to go down without a fight, and they were able to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth on a bases loaded walk and a sac fly. Neither team was able to score in the seventh or eighth inning, setting the stage for an old-fashioned nine inning game.
With two outs in the top of the ninth, Jose Zepeda reached on a walk. A catcher's obstruction call to the next batter put Zepeda on second base; Yamil Chavarria was then called off the bench to pinch run. A walk to Jorge Torres loaded the bases, followed by a single from Hasani Clarit that scored Chavarria and gave South Dade an 8-7 lead.
In the bottom of the frame, Christian Nehls reached first on a fielder's choice and promptly stole second base. He was brought in on a base hit from Jake Shultz, tying the game. Jonathan Linder then grounded into a fielder's choice of his own, putting him on first with two outs. Anthony Figueroa played the role of hero, taking the first pitch of his at bat to the outfield for a double, scoring Linder and giving the Lightning a walk off win.
Ben Rushing reached base safely five times to lead the Cypress Bay offense. He hit three singles, a double, walked once and scored twice. Figueroa, Lozada, Linder and Rodriguez all had at least two hits as well for the Lightning. Clarit was 3-5 with a run and RBI to lead the Bucs on offense.
Bishop Moore 5
The final game of the day was a doozy, featuring a furious comeback by the Taravella Trojans, who defeated the Bishop Moore Hornets in walkoff fashion, 6-5, on Monday night.
After Taravella jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first, Bishop Moore quickly took control. In the second inning, they scored twice on a single from McGuire Holbrook. The Hornets would add another pair of runs in the third on a Seth Martin single and Parker Thompson double.
The score would remain 4-1 until the sixth inning thanks to a bulldog effort from Hornets starter Quinton Martinez. Bishop Moore added one more in the sixth on a Kyle Mock sac fly, putting the game seemingly out of reach. In the bottom of the sixth, Jack Sinclair led the inning off with a double and would come around to score on a Nathan Housen single. With the score at 5-2, the game headed to the final inning.
After Logan Lixie set the Hornets down in order in the top half, it was time for a comeback. Bishop Moore pulled Martinez before the inning started, and put Connor Scheitzbach in a save situation. Johnny McDonald started things off with a single,and moved to second when Bobby Pokorney was hit by a pitch. Pinch hitter followed with a single to load the bases. After Scheitzbach struck out the next hitter, Darian Saunders came up big for the Trojans, ripping a single to the outfield that scored McDonald and Pokorney. Jack Sinclair, who already had three doubles on the night, was intentionally walked to load the bases. A pitching change was made by Bishop Moore that resulted in a walk to Justin Rivera, tying the game. Eddie Ayala took the first pitch he saw to the shortstop whose error allowed Saunders to score and end the game.
Sinclair reached base safely in all four of his plate appearances with three doubles and a walk. McGuire Holbrook had two hits and two batted in the lead the offensive charge for Bishop Moore. Martinez, who received a no decision, threw six innings of two-run baseball, striking out six. Lixie earned the win for Taravella with two innings of work.
Schedule for Tuesday, April 11
4 pm: Taravella vs. Pine Crest
6:30 pm: Palmetto vs. Bishop Moore