The Douglas baseball team could have easily packed it in down 5-1 in the fifth inning to undefeated Hialeah Gardens Mater Academy, especially with Mater starter and UM commit Mike Mediavilla on the mound.
But the Eagles refused to go down.
A grand slam in the fifth tied the score, then Douglas sophomore left fielder Yorvis Torrealba scorched a one-hop line drive that Lions’ shortstop David Silva couldn’t handle with the infield in during the bottom of the seventh to drive in the winning run.
Douglas took home a 6-5 walk-off victory in its first game at the Selective Recruiting Sir Pizza Invitational on Monday afternoon at FIU Baseball Stadium.
“My hat goes off to these guys,” Douglas coach Todd Fitzgerald said. “We fought back, didn’t quit. In the past we may have put our head between our legs. We showed a lot of character [Monday], and I’m proud of them for that — great way to start a tournament.”
Torrealba, who finished 2 for 4, came up with the bases loaded and one out against Mater reliever Amado Chirinos.
Before Torrealba’s at-bat, designated hitter Dominic DiCaprio reached with a walk, pinch-hitter Colton Welker singled, and then Ryan Rudolph hit a hard groundball that looked like it would end the matinee, but Silva made a diving play in the hole at short to keep the ball in the infield.
Mater Academy (12-1) had to bring the infield and outfield in, and Torrealba took advantage.
“The at-bat before he tried to throw me an outside fastball, so I knew he was going to try to come in on me and jam me,” said Torrealba, son of Colorado Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba. “I just pulled it, and I was ready for it.”
Mediavilla cruised through his first four innings, getting himself out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, but he loaded the bases again in the fifth, and the Eagles made him pay.
Slugging Douglas first baseman Josh Koebel belted a grand slam over the right-field wall on a fastball Mediavilla served up over the heart of the plate to tie the game at 5.
“I was gearing up for the curveball, but he threw me a fastball. I turned on it,” said Koebel, who finished 2 for 3 with a walk, four RBI and a run scored. “Clutch at-bat, had to do it for the team. We were down.”
Eagles catcher Derek Fritz, hitting in the No. 3 hole went 3 for 4 with a double Monday. He was on base when Koebel delivered his momentum-shifting bomb.
Mater built its 5-1 lead with a pair of two-run homers in a four-run third inning and added a run in the fifth.
After seeing slow-pitching Douglas starter TJ Vazquez one time around the lineup, the Lions pounced on him the second time around. Both catcher Kevin Abraham and Mediavilla, the starting pitcher who was not replaced in the lineup for a designated hitter, stayed back on off-speed pitches to drive them opposite field over the right-field fence for two-run homers.
Mater center fielder and UM commit Willie Abreu also went opposite field, but from the left side of the plate, for a double down the left-field line to spark the rally leading off the frame.
Vazquez only went 2 1/3 innings, but the bullpen, which gave up just one run to a potent Lions lineup after Vazquez made his exit, pieced the game together. Derek Jacobs was the winning pitcher after stranding the bases loaded in the top half of the seventh to set up Torrealba’s winning hit.
Having already tied the score, the Eagles (11-2) had their first opportunity to take the lead in the sixth inning with the hot-hitting Koebel at the plate and Daniel Ruiz already in scoring position at second base with two outs.
The old adage says to never make the last out of an inning at third base, but Ruiz, who finished 2 for 4 with a run scored, ignored that and took off. He beat Abraham’s throw, but slid past the bag and was called out, taking the bat out of Koebel’s hands in a critical situation.
“I don’t know what he was doing — typical, inexperienced mistake,” Fitzgerald said. “He thought he saw something I did. I said, ‘I didn’t give a sign.’ ”
Added Koebel: “[Ruiz] had the bag, but he overslid unfortunately, which it ruined the inning. ... We won in the seventh inning anyway, so it doesn’t matter.”
Douglas next plays Hialeah Gardens at Southwest Miami High on Tuesday at 10 a.m. before facing Miami Ferguson at St. Thomas University on Wednesday.
Douglas 6, Mater Academy 5
WP: Derek Jacobs. LP: Amado Chirinos. Top performers: Yorvis Torrealba (DOU) 2-4, GW RBI. Josh Koebel (DOU) 2-3, grand slam, 4 RBI, R, BB. Derek Fritz (DOU) 3 for 4. Jacobs IP, 0 R, 2 H. Daniel Ruiz 2-4, R. DOU 11-2. MA 12-1.
Santaluces 3, Coral Springs 1
WP: Dominic Teresi. LP: Dameon Concepcion. Top performers: Teresi (SAN) 5 IP, R, ER, 4 H, 5 K. Conepcion (CS) 5 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 K, 10 H. Justin Mixon (CS) 2-4, R. Sean Steele (SAN) 4-4, R.
Miami Springs 10, Zion Lutheran 5
WP: Dylan Carter (2-0). Top performers: Pedro Rivera 2-5, RBI. Madison Kreitner 2-2, RBI. Gabriel Gali 2-3. MS 8-7.
Chaminade 9, Calvary Christian 2
WP: McCabe (10-4). LP: Chang (11-5). Top performers: Yao (CHA) 3-3, BB, 3R. Sherrin 1-2, BB, HP, 2 R. Gilreath (CCA) 1-3, 2 RBI. CHA 10-5. CCA 11-5.
• Cardinal Gibbons 6, Archbishop McCarthy 1: Andrew Puglisi won singles No. 1 8-3. Chris Ernewein won singles No. 2 8-4. Taylor Gagne won singles No. 3 8-4. James Wich won singles No. 4 8-5. Miguel Mendoza won singles No. 5 8-6. Northecide/Ernewein won doubles No. 1 8-3. Wich/Mendoza won doubles No. 2 8-1.
• Archbishop McCarthy 4, Cardinal Gibbons 3: Carly Landi (CG) won singles No. 1 8-5. Loretta Norton (CG) won singles No. 2 8-6. Antonella Castillo (AMC) won singles No. 3 8-3. Jaycie Celli (AMC) won singles No. 4 8-1. Ariana Tejero (AMC) won singles No. 5 8-4. Landi/L. Norton (CG) won doubles No. 1 8-2. Castillo/Tejero (AMC) won doubles No. 2 8-5.
• Late Saturday — Belen 13 Archbishop McCarthy 10: For AMC: Kori Beck 4 goals, 2 assists. Joe Cerami 2 goals.
Westminster Academy at Cardinal Gibbons, 4
Selective Recruiting/Sir Pizza Invitational - at Nova Southeastern University: Chaminade vs. Douglas, 4:30; Westminster Christian vs. American Heritage, 7:30; at Monsignor Pace: Sunset vs. St. Brendan, 4:30; Monsignor Pace vs. Mater Lakes, 7:30; at Archbishop McCarthy: American vs. Ferguson, 4:30; South Miami vs. Archbishop McCarthy, 7:30; at Columbus: Doral Academy vs. Dwyer, 4:30; Columbus vs. Jupiter, 7:30; at Southwest: Hialeah Gardens vs. Mater Academy, 10 a.m.; Brito vs. Killian, 1; Western vs. Belen Jesuit, 4:30; La Salle vs. Southwest, 7:30; at North Broward Prep: Pompano Beach vs Archbishop Carroll, 4:30; Braddock vs. North Broward Prep, 7:30; at Florida Memorial University: Coral Reef vs. Miami High, 1; West Broward vs. TERRA, 4.
BOYS’ WATER POLO
St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Cardinal Gibbons (Central Park Pool), 8
GIRLS’ WATER POLO
St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Cardinal Gibbons (Central Park Pool), 7
Orlando Lake Highland Prep at St. Thomas Aquinas, 5
Palmer Trinity at Western, 6:30
Selective Recruiting/Sir Pizza Invitational - at St. Thomas University: Douglas vs. Ferguson, 10 a.m.; American vs. Miami High, 1; Mater Lakes vs. Sunset, 4:30; Columbus vs. Killian, 7:30; at Monsignor Pace: La Salle vs. Coral Reef, 4:30; Monsignor Pace vs. Dwyer, 7:30; at Archbishop McCarthy: Western vs. St. Brendan, 4:30; Jupiter vs. Archbishop McCarthy, 7:30; at North Broward Prep: West Broward vs. Brito, 1; Chaminade vs. Archbishop Carroll, 4:30; North Broward Prep vs. American Heritage, 7:30; at Florida Memorial University: Palmer Trinity vs. Braddock, 1; Westminster Christian vs. Pompano Beach, 4; at Southwest: South Miami vs. Doral Academy, 1; TERRA vs. Belen Jesuit, 4:30; Southwest vs. Mater Academy, 7:30.
Lake Worth Park Vista at Cardinal Gibbons, 4