The game began Monday and remained scoreless through three innings until lightning cleared the field. When it resumed Tuesday, this time it was the crack of bats that lit up the field and Pine Crest won 11-1 in six innings against Cardinal Gibbons in the District 13-4A quarterfinal at Broward College.
Senior Steven Goldberg, who will be pitching for Lehigh University in Pennsylvania next year, played an incredible game in which he pitched five innings, picked up 3 RBI, and moved to center field in the sixth where he caught a fly on a steal play and threw to second for a game-ending double play.
The top of the fifth saw a seven-run rally off six hits by Pine Crest including a Goldberg double that brought in two. Cardinal Gibbons’ run came in the bottom of the fifth off a single by David Pedraza.
Chandler Cissel went 3 for 3 with five RBI, Matt Rothenberg picked up the save and added three runs, and Adam Saks grabbed two runs and a double in the final inning.
Pine Crest (15-9-1) will play Coral Springs Charter or Somerset in the semifinal. Gibbons ended the season 9-12.
WP: Steven Goldberg (6-2) 4K 5IP. LP: Chris Williams. Top performers: Chandler Cissel 3-3, 5 RBI, 3 singles, SB. Matt Rothenberg 2-4, 3 runs, RBI, double. Steven Goldberg 1-4, 3 RBI, double. Adam Saks 2-4, double, 2 runs.
• District 16-8A semifinal — Killian 5, Southridge 1: Battling through a competitive district all season, pitcher Keith Stevens continually delivered efficient starts for Killian’s baseball team.
With the season on the line Tuesday afternoon, Stevens delivered again.
Killian’s sophomore ace gave up only one run on four hits and helped the Cougars defeat rival Southridge 5-1 in a District 16-8A semifinal at Varela High.
“Keith has been phenomenal from the beginning of the year and has had poise beyond his years,” Killian coach Angel Herrera said. “He’s had hard-luck losses all season. There’s no one else I would have trusted to throw in a game like this.”
The Cougars (18-8) clinched their fourth consecutive regional playoff appearance and will try to win their second consecutive district title Thursday at 4 p.m. when they face top-seeded South Dade at Varela. The Bucs beat Varela 8-3 on Monday.
Herrera said Stevens, who improved to 6-4 for the season, took a few close losses this season in low-scoring games.
On Tuesday, Killian didn’t take long to give Stevens run support scoring twice in the top of the first on catcher Nick Mira’s RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Spencer Levine. Left fielder Gil Polanco, who went 2 for 2, hit a solo homer in the third to give Killian a 3-0 edge.
Southridge (11-10) broke through in the bottom of the sixth when left fielder Octavio Mirabal hit a line drive that got past Levine at first for a double scoring center fielder Christian Khawam. But Stevens got third baseman Jerrick Campbell to ground into a double play to end the threat.
Backup first baseman William Ortiz gave Killian a cushion with a pinch-hit, RBI triple to right center. Ortiz drove in designated hitter Danny Cumba on the play and then scored on the play on a throwing error by the cutoff man.
ANDRE C. FERNANDEZ