Thirty-two teams from Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties competed all week in the Selective Recruiting/Sir Pizza Invitational, vying for bragging rights in one of baseball’s richest talent pools.
Defending Class 5A champion Plantation American Heritage scored six unanswered runs in a 6-1 victory over Parkland Douglas in the final Saturday night at the University of Miami’s Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
The Eagles (13-3) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning against right-hander Shaun Anderson (7-1), but failed to tack on additional runs.
Junior right fielder Daniel Ruiz’s RBI double to left scored senior second baseman KJ Mayo, who began the game with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With runners at the corners and two outs, sophomore Dominic DiCaprio struck out looking.
“Since I’ve known him if you don’t get Shaun early you typically don’t get him,” Heritage coach Bruce Aven said. “That’s the thing that great pitchers do — it doesn’t matter the situation — they get themselves out of jams.”
Heritage (17-2), which has won the invitation two of the past three years, responded with a pair of runs on senior designated hitter Mike Deeb’s one-out single off freshman left-hander Jesus Luzardo (4-3).
Senior catcher Zack Collins worked a one-out walk before senior third baseman Danny Zardon doubled over the left fielder’s glove, putting two men into scoring position. Deeb, named the tournament’s MVP with 11 RBI on the week, hit a single to drive in the pair.
The Patriots added a run in the second. Following a walk by sophomore first baseman David Villar with one out, junior second baseman Jon Felicie doubled into the left-center gap.
A three-run sixth extended the lead for Heritage. Junior left fielder Magglio Ordonez’s two-run double to the right-center gap drove in senior shortstop C.J. Chatham and junior right fielder Dallas Perez, chasing Luzardo. Senior center fielder Brandon Diaz’s one-out RBI single to left off senior left-hander Zack Miednik capped the scoring.
Anderson went five innings for the Patriots, allowing one run on six hits with six strikeouts and one walk. Junior right-hander Louis Beck and Chatham combined for two scoreless innings of relief.
“It feels great because we go into everything expecting to win,” said Deeb, who also played on the Heritage football team. “Coming out winning makes us feel good about our hard work and really gives us momentum moving forward in the season as we near the playoffs.”
American Heritage 9, Douglas 1
WP: Shaun Anderson (7-1). LP: Jesus Luzardo (4-3).