Senior Erik Molina drove in the game-winning run and host Killian defeated Southwest 1-0 in a region 4-8A quarterfinal Wednesday.
“I just got a break. He threw me a fast ball and I got a piece of it,” Molina said. “I was just trying to hit a ball hard.”
Facing a 0-2 count, Molina hit a scorching line-drive to center field to drive in relief pitcher Mike Perez. The run came at the tail end of the sixth inning, after Perez doubled with one out.
The run was the only blemish in an otherwise dominant performance for Southwest pitcher Chris Mourelle, who pitched a complete game, striking out five and walking one.
“They just got one that one inning,” Mourelle said. “We had a great season. It had to end somewhere.”
The game, which started an hour late after a torrential downpour, was a pitcher’s duel from the start. Killian starter Keith Stevens pitched 5 1/3 innings, striking out six.
“I was just trying to pound the zone,” Stevens said. “Everything was working.”
Both teams threatened to score several times in the game, but stellar defense ended their chances. In the sixth inning, Southwest knocked Stevens out of the game after Carlos Pena hit a double down the left-field line with one out.
After a defensive adjustment moved Perez from third base to pitcher, the sophomore ended the inning by striking out one and getting a second hitter to ground out.
“I got my chance and I made the best of it,” Perez said. “We got a run and we shut the door.”
Killian plays the winner of Thursday’s game between South Dade and Sunset in a region 4-8A semifinal. That game will be on Tuesday.
“Our starting pitching has been phenomenal all year,” Killian coach Angel Herrera said.
• Region 4-4A quarterfinal — Coral Springs Charter 14, Archbishop Carroll 4: The host Panthers overcame a slow start to break the mark for most victories in school history and advance to Tuesday’s round of 16. The Panthers (22-7) had set the mark just last season with 21 wins.
Carroll took an early 2-0 lead before Charter immediately cut the lead to one when a Joe McChrystal single scored Jorge Solano, who led off the bottom of the first with a double.
An inning later, McChrystal produced the key hit with a two-run double to highlight a six-run second that stretched the Panthers lead to 7-2.
Coral Springs Charter sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning. The game was halted in the fifth by the mercy rule.
Solano and McChrystal each led the offense with three hits. Left-hander Brent Kessinger (7-0) pitched four innings to earn the victory.
WP: Kessinger (7-0). LP: Garabeadian
• District 13 final — Westland d. Miami Springs 18-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-18, 15-13: The Wildcats (8-7) overcame a two-sets deficit to Miami Springs (7-5) to claim the District 13 title at Westland Hialeah.
The final set started with Westland ahead early, but the Hawks came back and tied the score at 12. The Wildcats got its 14th point on an ace by Jorge Gonzalez and won the fifth set on a kill by Joel Sanchez.
Miami Springs was strong early and lead the first set 20-11 before winning on a serving error by Westland.
The Hawks won the second set on an ace by Tommy Rodriguez.
Westland started the third set with a 7-1 run. Miami Springs rallied to trail 20-17. The Wildcats won an ace by Franky Lopez.
In the fourth set Westland also started strong and quickly led 9-2. A pair of aces by J. Sanchez put the Wildcats ahead and the set was won on a kill by Eber Sanchez.
The Wildcats defeated defending District 13 champion Mater Academy in the opening semifinal, also in five sets: 20-25, 25-13, 23-25, 25-13, 15-10.
In the following semifinal, the Hawks defeated Hialeah: 19-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-17.
J. Sanchez led Westland with 16 kills and 11 blocks. Osvaldo Canedo had 26 assists.
• District 14 semifinal — Southwest d. Florida Christian 25-19, 25-21, 25-12: Senior Aaron Dossantos, who had 17 digs, keyed a strong defensive effort as the Eagles dismissed the Patriots (15-11) for the third and final time this season.
“Southwest is very disciplined,” Florida Christian coach Alfonso Alvarez said. “They are very well coached and don’t make a lot of mistakes. I like their chances against Columbus.”
Dossantos, who will play for Pfeiffer University next season, said that even though his Eagles are 2-0 versus Columbus this year, they still hold a grudge against the Explorers.
“It’s like redemption for last year for how bad we lost to them in the district final,” he said. “I look forward to it.”
Southwest coach Maurcio Diaz said his team was sharp against Florida Christian, and he hopes that carries over for the Columbus match.
“Our defense was the key,” Diaz said. “Aaron had an unbelievable match. They were serving us short floaters, and he came up and gave perfect passes to our setter.”