Benito Santiago’s two-strike, RBI hit in the bottom of the fifth inning was the difference as host Coral Springs Christian defeated American Heritage-Delray 1-0 in a rain-shortened, six-inning game Thursday in the Region 4-3A quarterfinal in Coral Springs.
Pitcher Dany Toussaint struck out 12 Stallions and allowed only one hit on the mound, while also going 2-for-3 at the plate for Coral Springs Christian.
The Crusaders advance to the regional semifinal to face either Pompano Beach Highlands Christian or Boca Raton Pope John Paul II.
• Region 4-6A quarterfinal — Mater Academy 4, Pembroke Pines Charter 3: Senior Willie Abreu drove in the game-winning run to keep the Lions’ playoff run alive. Abreu, a top MLB prospect, hit a fifth inning line-drive to right field to plate freshman Alex Rodriguez from second base.
“It was a great at bat,” Abreu said. “I was able to get a good pitch and drive it.”
Mater played catch-up for most of the game. Pines Charter jumped out a 1-0 lead after right fielder Jesse Gonzalez ripped a 1-2 fastball to drive-in Cody Fuchs.
The Lions answered in the second inning when sophomore Joel Jimenez scored on a Deyvid Silva sacrifice fly.
Lions starting pitcher Mike Mediavilla struggled in the third inning giving up two consecutive walks to load the bases with two outs. Kevin Ellenbogen gave the Jaguars the lead again after he drove in two runs on a double to left field. Mediavilla ended the inning getting the next batter to ground out.
Trailing 3-1, Mater rallied when sophomore Danny Reyes batted-in Rodriguez after singling. Abreu tied the game, after scoring from third base, when senior Kevin Abraham hit a sacrifice fly to deep center-field.
Mater sophomore Andrew Cabezas relieved Mediaville at the start of the fifth inning.
Cabezas walked the first batter he faced, but two key defensive plays and a strikeout ended the Pines Charter threat. Cabezas had two strikeouts and aground out to end the game.
“I calmed down and started throwing strikes” he said. “I trusted my defense.”
Mater plays the winner of the Belen Jesuit-Archbishop McCarthy game on Tuesday.
WP: Cabezas. LP: Patrick Mitchell
• Region 3-8A quarterfinal — Flanagan vs. Coral Glades (ppd.): Battling inclement weather for the second consecutive day, the Coral Glades at Flanagan game was suspended in the bottom of the second inning with Flanagan holding a 3-0 lead.
After Coral Glades (13-8) pitcher Jacob Melton retired the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the first, Flanagan (18-5) sent four batters to the plate to take the lead. With a runner on second, Ryan Dodge laced a single down the left-field line to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead.
After Daniel Olivieri reached on a single, Kharlin Sued hit a 2-1 pitch into the right center-field gap for a two-run double to give the Falcons a 3-0 lead.S
On the mound, Flanagan pitcher Gentry Fortuno allowed one hit through two innings of work.