Making history is the norm these days for the Sunset baseball team.
Nearly a week after rallying to win their first district championship, the Knights came back to beat visiting South Dade 8-4 to win their first regional playoff game Thursday at Raul Ibanez Field.
Led by its talented middle infield tandem of senior second baseman Michael Centeno and senior shortstop Michael Paez and a complete game by pitcher Austin Comesanas, Sunset advanced to Tuesday’s Region 4-8A semifinals where it will play at Killian at 4 p.m.
“It feels good finally as a senior to be able to do something like this,” Centeno said. “This is one of the best hitting lineups I’ve been a part of in my four years here.”
Centeno led the Knights going 3 for 4 with a double and a home run. Each hit came at clutch moments in the game and drove in a run.
Sunset rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the fourth inning scoring five runs in the bottom half. Tied at 3, Centeno drove a pitch from South Dade starter Adam Roush off the center field fence to give Sunset the lead for good.
Paez, who reached third base on Centeno’s hit, scored on the next at-bat on a wild pitch. Catcher Alex Bravo then drove in Centeno with a ground ball. Herbert Iser began the comeback with an RBI single.
Paez set the tone for Sunset’s lineup early with a solo home run in the bottom of the first. He finished with two RBI.
Comesanas did the rest finishing his fourth complete game of the season. Comesanas struck out seven despite allowing seven hits and walking two.
South Dade (14-12) only gave him trouble in the top of the fourth inning when the Bucs scored three runs. Roush tied the game at 1 with a single to center. On the next at-bat, sophomore Sergio Lopez cleared the bases with a triple to deep center that gave the Bucs a 3-1 edge.
But Comesanas limited the damage by forcing a pair of ground outs to end the inning.
“They’ve got confidence now and we’re rolling on all cylinders,” Pelaez said. “These guys find a way to get on base and we stuck to a good game plan against a very good pitcher.”
WP: Austin Comesanas. LP: Roush
• Region 4-4A quarterfinal — LaSalle 3, Gulliver 0: The Royal Lions (14-13) shutout the Raiders (13-15) in the Region 4-4A quarterfinal at Saint Thomas University. LaSalle will play St. Brendan in the semifinal Tuesday.
“This is a team that does not want to go home,” said coach Oscar Benitez. “Sergio Miyares, when he’s throwing strikes, is one of the best pitchers in the county and we are blessed to have him.”
Miyares had a one-hitter going through five innings and finished the game with eight strikeouts.
La Salle scored two runs in the bottom of the second on back-to-back RBI by Jordan Vazquez and Eric Valdez. The Royal Lions scored its third run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly RBI.
“We played St. Brendan earlier this year and they kind of had their way with us.” said Miyares, who pitched all seven innings. “We are going to come out hungry and looking for a little redemption.”
WP: Sergio Miyares (4-1). LP: Lucas De La Cruz (3-3). Top performers: Sergio Miyares 7 IP, 8 K. Jordan Vazquez 1-3, RBI, Eric Valdez 1-3, RBI.
• Region 4-2A quarterfinal — Brito 12, Redland Christian 0: Brito’s Richie Sotolongo and Luis Forte combined for a no-hitter which resulted in a 12-0 win against Redland Christian.
In three innings on the mound, Sotolongo (8-1), senior, accomplished eight strikeouts.
While Savian Fernandez led at bat with two runs, two RBI and three walks to help Brito move into the regional semifinals.
COREY W. CAMPBELL
WP: Sotolongo (8-1). Top performers: Sotolongo 3 IP, 8K, no-hitter. Savian Fernandez 1-1, 3 walks, 2 RBI, 2 runs.
• Region 4-4A quarterfinal — St. Brendan 7, TERRA 3: The St. Brendan Sabres came out swinging to defeat the Terra Wolves in the class 4-4A regional quarterfinals after being rained out the day before.
The Sabres jumped on the board early in the first on a double by Christian Martin that scored leadoff batter Chiqui Carrera, who reached on a walk. Gerson Sotolongo hit a two-run homerun in the second to extend the lead 3-0.
St. Brendan’s bats stayed hot through four innings, scoring two additional runs in both the third and fourth to take a 7-0 lead going into the fifth.
“We wanted to make sure they could stay back and not pull everything,” said St. Brendan’s coach Joe Cubas. “They got it done offensively today. Now we just need to play better defense.”
The Wolves capitalized on three Sabres’ errors in the fifth and scored three runs, but would not score after that. St. Brendan will face LaSalle in the regional semifinal Tuesday.
WP: David Plotkin Top Performers: Christian Martin 3-3, 2 doubles, 2 RBI. Gerson Sotolongo 1-3, HR, RBI
• Hialeah vs. Goleman (ppd.): Not starting until 2 p.m., Hialeah and Goleman had only gotten four batters into the game when the bad weather arrived in a Region 4-8A baseball quarterfinal game at Alex Fernandez Field in Hialeah.
The game will resume Friday at 11 a.m. at the same site. The T-Breds (18-7) had a runner on second and two outs after Nestor Cortes reached on an error by the shortstop to lead off the game and, in between a fielders choice and fly out to center field, advanced to second on a balk.