A Columbus fan yelled out Agua Bendita" or Holy Water in Spanish, after the sprinklers behind the backstop at the St. Thomas University baseball field soaked observers during the top of the eighth at the Killian-Columbus game Wednesday night.
The blessing that ensued for the Catholic all-boys school was an eight-run inning to effectively put the extra-inning affair away.
Columbus defeated Killian 11-3 in eight innings in a matchup of unbeaten teams in the Selective Recruiting Sir Pizza Invitational.
After their bats were quiet through the first seven innings, the Explorers hit around the lineup for seven hits to produce the eight runs off Killian pitchers Ryan Granda and Ernie Penton.
The outburst mirrors a similar eighth inning Columbus had against Jupiter the night before in which it scored three to win it.
“We were just saying we need to play a pro schedule where we play nine so we get that eighth inning every game,” Columbus coach Joe Weber said. “We seem to be hot in the eighth.”
Killian forced extra innings with a Joey Gonzalez sacrifice fly to right field that scored Mike Perez, who led off the frame with a base hit.
Columbus right-handed starting pitcher Christian Lesteiro gave up that tying run, but he was still the winning pitcher, giving up three runs and striking out 12 in seven innings.
Reliever Alex Gonzalez shut the door on the Cougars (14-5) in the bottom of the eighth striking out the side while giving up a pair of singles.
Columbus catcher Nelson Mompierre went 2 for 3 with a double, walk and three RBI, and second baseman Pablo De Armas went 2 for 5 while driving in the first two runs of the big eighth inning.
Despite the win, the Explorers (14-3) will not play in the tournament championship which will instead be played between Plantation American Heritage and Parkland Douglas, two teams that won the runs-allowed tiebreaker.
WP: Christian Lesteiro. LP: Ryan Granda.
Repeat Class 7A state boys basketball champion Blanche Ely will face its stiffest test against ESPN Super 25 Prime Prep (Texas) in the National High School Invitational quarterfinals at Georgetown Prep in Maryland on April 4.
The ESPN Super 25 No. 9 Tigers (27-1) can only hope its signature defense remains air-tight against a Prime Prep team that kept its perfect record (36-0) intact by winning the NACA Basketball Tournament.
Prime Prep features four ESPN 100 recruits led by Emmanuel Mudiay, ranked No. 3 in the 2014 class and holding offers from Kentucky, Kansas and Louisville and 6-9 power forward Elijah Thomas (No. 6 sophomore).
If Ely, led by Dallas Cameron, Khalil Thomas and Lance Tejada III can pull the upset, the Tigers (27-1) will face the Montverde Academy-Oak Hill Academy (VA) winner in the semifinals on April 6.
The Dillard girls’ team, coming off a Class 5A state title four-peat and eighth state title overall, will have its hands full with MaxPreps No. 12 Archbishop Spalding (MD) and Virginia Commonwealth recruit Camille Calhoun in the NHSI girls’ semifinals on April 5.
Dillard (28-2), which last loss came on Jan. 9, is led by two-time Class 5A player of the year Kayla Wright, a Tulsa recruit, Eva Myers and Briana Green.
MaxPreps No. 23 and Class 8A state champion Orlando Dr. Phillips plays No. 2 Life Center Academy in the late semifinal. The NHSI will be broadcast live by ESPNU.
NOVA TITAN CLASSIC — 3RD PLACE GAME — HOLLYWOOD HILLS 16, COOPER CITY 7
WP: Tommy Grant 6IP (1-0). LP: Joey Cutrone. Top performers: Tommy Grant 4-5, 4 RBI, double. Chris Hernandez 4-4, 3 runs, 2 RBI. Hunter Kelly 2-2, 2 runs, RBI
CORAL SPRINGS 10, MONARCH 0 (6)
WP: Jordan Barrett.
RONALD REAGAN 8, WESTLAND 3
WP: Arturo Rincon 5IP 6K. Top performers: Luis Rincon save. Sergio Santana 3-4, double, RBI, 2 runs.
LATE TUESDAY — GULLIVER 6, BARRON COLLIER 1
WP: Javi Lopez. Top performers: Branden Chinea 3-4, RBI, 2 runs. Henry Hernandez 2-3, 2 RBI. German Marcos 2-3
SELECTIVE RECRUITING/ SIR PIZZA INVITATIONAL RESULTS
BELEN 12, TERRA 5
WP: Lorenzo Laurita. Top performers: Alex Lorenzo 3-3, double, RBI, 2 runs. Alex Cabrera 2-4, 3 RBI, double, run. Ryan Rodriguez-Mena 2-4, double, 2 RBI. David Villa 2-3, 3 runs, RBI, double. BEL 12-4
JUPITER 4, ARCHBISHOP MCCARTHY 1
WP: Lance Fry. LP: Andres Nunez
SUNSET 6, MATER LAKES 4
WP: Danny Diaz (5-1). Top performers: Alex Bravo 2-3, 2 RBI. Herbert Iser 1-3, 2 RBI. Alfredo Iser 2-4, RBI. SUN 12-4
WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN 4, POMPANO BEACH 1
WP: Julian Infante 4IP, 5K (1-0). Top performers: Yuri Sucart 1-3, triple, RBI. Brandon Valls 1-3, double, RBI.
BRADDOCK 9, PALMER TRINITY 0
WP: Anthony Baldrich 5IP, 8K (1-1). LP: Ben Roberts. Top performers: Anthony Alvarez 4-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs, 2 SB. Brian Hernandez 2-4, 3 RBI, 2 SB, 2 runs
LATE TUESDAY — ARCHBISHOP MCCARTHY 7, SOUTH MIAMI 2
WP: Brian Gonzalez. LP: Ernesto Romero. Top performers: Alex Rodrigues 2-4, run, RBI. Brian Gonzalez 1-4, run, 2 RBI. Jonathan Quintana 2-4, run, RBI
LATE TUESDAY — COLUMBUS 12, JUPITER 9
WP: Armando Gonzalez 7IP 2K. Top performers: Danny Diaz 1-3, grand slam. Laz Rivera 2-5, single, HR, 3 RBI.
LATE TUESDAY — MONSIGNOR PACE 7, MATER LAKES 3
WP: Luis Deville 6IP 9K (5-1). LP: Salmon. Top performers: Bryan Bermudez 2-4, 2 runs. David Palenzuela 2-4, 2 runs
LATE MONDAY — FERGUSON 6, HIALEAH GARDENS 2
WP: Rafael Jreige. Top performers: Anthony Tucker 3-4, 2 runs, SB. Chris Medina 1-2, HR, SB. Chris Bec 2-3, SB, run.
CHAMINADE 7, MONSIGNOR PACE 6
WP: McCabe (12-4). LP: Lorenzo (9-5). Top performers: Lorenzo 3-4, 3 runs. Torchia 1-3, triple, run, 2 RBI. CHA 12-5
LATE TUESDAY — MATER LAKES 23, BOCA RATON CHRISTIAN 8 (3)
WP: Sam Herranz (9-4) LP: Taylor. Top performers: Melissa Luis 3-3, 3 runs, 2 RBI. Jasmine Harris 3-3, HR, 5 RBI. Laritza Jimenez 4-4, 4 runs, 2 RBI. ML 13-5
• North Broward Prep 4, Westminster Academy 3: Gomez won No. 3 singles 8-5. Shen won No. 4 singles 8-3. Nayman won No. 5 singles 8-5. Shen/Nayman won No. 2 doubles 9-8
• North Broward Prep 5, Westminster Academy 2: Golden won No. 1 singles 8-0. Bapp won No. 2 singles 8-1. Nudel won No. 3 singles 8-5. Calhoun/Helmboldt won No. 1 doubles 8-5
• Late Tuesday — Belen 25-21, 25-22, 26-24: JP Will 13 kills, 5 digs, 2 blocks. Eric Ceballos 24 assists, 11 kills, 2 aces, 2 blocks. Ryan Navarro 10 digs. BEL 10-2
• Park Vista 11, Cardinal Gibbons 4: Kate Ingerto 3 goals
• Monsignor Pace 33, Mater Lakes 0: Destiny Wilson 2 INT, receiving TD. Sabrina Cabrera 4 passing TD, rushing TD. Gaby Sanchez 2 extra point receptions. MP 5-0
Sagemont at Miami Christian, 1:30
Selective Recruiting/Sir Pizza Invitational
Kissimmee Klassic - Blue Division: Gulliver vs. Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley, 5; American vs. Cypress Bay, 7; Gold Division: Coral Reef vs. Frostproof, 1; Doral vs. Naples Barron Collier, 5; Palm Beach Central vs. Florida Christian, 7
Kissimmee Klassic - Blue Division second round: 3; Gold Division second round: 3.
Selective Recruiting/Sir Pizza Invitational - Championship at University of Miami: 7:30