Columbus’ baseball team spent the first two games of this year’s GMAC tournament blanking opponents with dominant pitching.
On Thursday night at South Dade, the Explorers let their hitters pour on the runs in an 11-2 blowout win over American to secure their first GMAC championship since 2005.
The Explorers (20-5) had lost their past three appearances in the GMAC final including last season.
But a consistent lineup that totaled 11 hits and scored four runs in the first and seven in the fifth made sure Columbus would not fall short this time.
“The third game of a tournament you expect a little higher scoring game because everyone is a little shorter on pitching after two days in a row,” Columbus coach Joe Weber said. “Our guys really swung the bat well. You can’t really pinpoint one guy because it was a group effort.”
Ryan Alvarez, one of the Explorers’ best hitters this season with five home runs and over 30 RBI so far, set the tone early with a two-run triple in the first inning. Center fielder Kevin Suarez and catcher Cris Perez each went 2 for 4 and each was involved in the fifth inning in which the Explorers batted around to break the game open.
Gil Torres had a two-run triple in the inning and Perez later had a two-run single.
American (16-8) broke a 16-inning scoreless streak by Columbus pitching in the tournament with two runs in the third inning. But after cutting Columbus’ lead to 4-2, the Explorers limited the damage when second baseman Pablo DeArmas, shortstop Laz Rivera and first baseman Christian Garabedian executed a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Sophomore pitcher Matt Marini kept the Patriots in check the next two innings and went five frames overall limiting American to five hits and striking out five. Anthony Martinez and Andre Dunand each pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
WP: Matt Marini.