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.