The Everglades baseball team is trying to reach the powerhouse status District 12-8A rival Flanagan has already established.
But Thursday afternoon, the Falcons showed the Gators they’re still quite a bit behind them as Flanagan mercy-ruled host Everglades 10-0 in six innings.
Sophomore pitcher Gentry Fortuna pitched five shutout innings, giving up just three hits and striking out six. At one point he retired 12 consecutive Gators.
“My fastball was always on; pounded it,” Fortuna said. “My curveball was a little struggle at the beginning, but it found its way throughout the game. Changeup was working when it had to.”
He pitched the way he did despite discomfort from a hole in the mound that he felt was too deep.
“Honestly, he was average [Thursday],” Flanagan coach Ray Evans said of Fortuna. “When he’s on, he’s really disgusting.”
Everglades hung tight for the first four innings, but Flanagan (8-2, 5-0) broke the game open with three runs in the top of the fifth — all unearned and with two outs in the inning to increase its lead to 5-0.
An error by Everglades second baseman Alan Ruiz with runners on second and third allowed a run to score and extended the frame. Flanagan shortstop Andres Rios then made the Gators (7-2, 3-2) pay for the miscue, driving in two runs with a base hit up the middle. Flanagan added five more runs in the sixth when Everglades reliever Jeff Spardy walked five of the six batters he faced, two of the walks coming with the bases loaded.
The Falcons got on the board first in the second inning when a Brendan Melendez triple to right drove in A.J. Munoz from first.
Munoz then drove in a run in the third with an RBI double to make it 2-0.
WP: Gentry Fortuna (5-0). LP: Edwin Bonilla. Top performers: Fortuna 5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 6 K. Andres Visbal 3-4, double, 2 R, RBI. A.J. Munoz 2-3, double, R, 2 RBI.