Miami Palmetto 5
The first game on Thursday saw one of the best pitcher's duels in tournament history. It took an extra inning, but in the end, the Miami Palmetto Panthers were able to defeat the westfield Bulldogs 5-0.
Simply put, Jake Sheeder was a monster for the Panthers. The right hander carried a no-hitter all the way to one out in the seventh inning before Seth Hockett spoiled the performance. The other issue was that Westfield starting pitcher Danny Leo was equally effective, not allowing a run through seven. With neither team able to score in regulation, the game went to the eighth.
Westfield elected to keep Leo in to start the inning, and Palmetto was able to jump on him early. The first two batters of the inning, Tyler Everett and Pat Mormile, each hit singles to start things off. Alex Castaneda then stepped up to sac bunt both runners over, but a throwing error to first base allowed a run to score and put two runners in scoring position. After a pitching change, Dickson Aburto kept the rally going with a single of his own scoring Mormile. A wild pitch and an Eddy Arteaga single would round out the scoring at five runs for the Panthers. Sheeder then shut down the Bulldogs, picking up two more strikeouts to close out his start.
The final line on the Palmetto starter read eight innings, one hit, zero runs, four walks and seven strikeouts. Leo took the loss despite a respectable line of seven innings, seven hits, two earned runs and four strikeouts. Mormile led all hitters out of the nine hole with three base knocks and a run scored.
Both teams now sit at 1-2 on the week.
Pine Crest 4
South Dade 1
Thursday's second game started off similar to the first, with two pitchers shutting down bats. Pine Crest was able to break through and hold on, earning a trip to the Championship Game with a 4-1 win over the South Dade Buccaneers.
South Dade starter Ricardo Sablavarro started the game with three no-hit innings; Pine Crest starter Maxx Estrin one-upped him by going four innings of no hit baseball.
It was in the fourth inning that Pine Crest was able to start the scoring. Senior standout Michael Rothernberg doubled on the ninth pitch of his leadoff at bat, and came around to score immediately when teammate Jared deFaria drove him in with a single. South Dade got one back in the fifth on a failed pickoff, but their rally would end there. Pine Crest then tacked on three more in the fifth thanks to an error and RBI singles from deFaria and Andrew Bell to make it 4-1.
Jake Solomon came on to close out the game for Pine Crest, throwing the final 1.2 innings and earning his second save of the tournament.
Estrin finished with a line of 5.1 innings, 1 hit, 1 run (unearned), two walks and six strikeouts. deFaria had two hits and two RBI to lead the offense. With the win, Pine Crest advances to the Championship Game. South Dade, now 1-2, will play in the third place game on Friday.
Cypress Bay 0
The Taravella Trojans came out swinging in their semi-final matchup against the Cypress Bay Lightning, earning a shut out win and spot in the Championship Game on Friday with a 8-0 win.
Jack Sinclair started the game with a single, and moved to third on an error. Eddie Ayala would bring him in on a groundball to first, making it 1-0. One batter later, a Nathan Housen base hit to right brought in a second run. The Trojans added two more in the second on RBIs from Sinclair and Ayala, to make it 4-0. Then, to keep with the theme of the day, another pair was thrown on the board in the third inning when Darian Saunders drove in Johny McDonald and Bobby Pokorney.
The six run lead was more than enough for Taravella starter Preston Clark. Clark cruised through six innings on the night, allowing only three hits and three walks. He also struck out five Lightning batters. What makes his outing even more impressive is that Cypress Bay had scored 22 runs in their previous two games.
The Trojans later added a run in the sixth on a Johny McDonald single and one in the seventh on a Logan Rubin sac fly.
Eight different runners scored for the Lightning. Sinclair led the team with two hits, a run and an RBI; he is now 7-10 at the plate through three games of the Challenge.
With the win, Taravella will face Pine Crest in the Championship Game on Friday at 4:30 pm. The two teams battled on Tuesday night, with the Panthers winning by a score of 8-4.
Bishop Moore 13
The Bishop Moore Hornets used a strong start from Tommy Groom, and plenty of help from the Mourning defense to take home a 13-6 win over the Mourning Sharks in Thursday's nightcap.
Groom started the game for Bishop Moore, and did not allow a hit in his three innings of work. One unearned run did score on him, but that was no matter as the Hornets offense was clicking all night long.
Bishop Moore scored in every run except the fifth inning, highlighted by a four-run first and a five-run sixth to put the game out of reach of the Sharks. In addition to their 13 hits as a team, Bishop Moore also drew three walks and were aided by twelve errors by Mourning. In fact, only five of the thirteen runs scored were charged as earned against the Sharks pitchers.
Nine different Hornets recorded a hit, led by Kyle Mock's three. Eight different Hornets scored at least once, with Mock and Bobby Spitulski leading the way with three each.
Jim Varona drove in three runs for Mounring, while Wilson Valdez reached base three times (single, two walks), scored once and added a steal.
Bishop Moore is no 2-1, while Mourning falls to 0-3.
SCHEDULE FOR FRIDAY, APRIL 14
9:00 am: Bishop Moore vs. Westfield
11:30 am: Mourning vs. South Dade
2:00 pm: Cypress Bay vs. Palmetto
4:30pm: Taravella vs. Pine Crest