Miami-dade baseball roundup

Lopez’s double powers Sunset by Killian

 

a1fernandez@MiamiHerald.com

Sunset’s baseball team was running out of chances Tuesday afternoon.

But with two outs in the sixth inning, the Knights put together another memorable moment in its already historic season.

Sparked by Jorge Lopez’s bases-clearing double, Sunset scored four runs in the top of the sixth and later hung on behind solid relief pitching by Danny Diaz and Michael Paez to defeat host Killian 4-2 in a Region 4-8A semifinal.

The Knights (20-7) will host American in the Region 4-8A final Friday at 4 p.m.

“This whole season has been like this,” Sunset coach Mandy Pelaez said. “We hung in there and faced a lot of different situations that could have changed the game. The seniors have had the experience to get through these types of games.”

Sunset trailed 1-0 with two outs and runners on first and second.

Nicholas Machado came up with the clutch hit to begin the rally ripping a single to left field that scored Michael Centeno to tie the score.

Sunset center fielder Danilo De Armas, who came up with two clutch catches to prevent Killian runs, was then hit by a pitch from Killian ace Keith Stevens loading the bases. The Cougars then pulled Stevens and put Mike Perez to pitch. Lopez smacked a double to deep center to score three runs.

“I was just waiting for a good fastball to drive,” Lopez said. “He put it in a good spot, and I just swung away.”

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WP: Danny Diaz (9-1). LP: Keith Stevens.

•  Region 4-8A semifinal — American 13, Hialeah 7: After squandering an early two-run lead to fall behind 6-3 in the fourth inning, there was no panic in the American baseball team’s dugout.

The Patriots put the rally caps on in the bottom of the fourth and spent close to 45 minutes at the plate and when they were done, had sent 15 batters to the plate and dropped a 10-run bomb on Hialeah and cruised to a 13-7 victory over the T-Breds in a Region 4-8A semifinal contest at American High School.

American (20-8) advances to a regional final for the second time in school history and will travel to Sunset on Friday at 4 p.m. with a final four berth in Fort Myers on the line.

Edison Cabrera led off the fourth with a base hit and Romy Gonzalez followed with a double to get the big rally going. After Eric Gonzalez walked, Kendrick Gutierrez and Rodney Williams followed with consecutive RBI singles. One error and walk later, Steven Alvarez hit a high hopper up the middle into center scoring two more runs as the Patriots scored seven runs before the T-Breds recorded their first out.

BILL DALEY

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WP: A. Figueroa. LP: A. Herrera. Top performers: E. Cabrera 3-5. K. Gutierrez 2-3, 2 RBI. R. Williams 2-3, 2 RBI. J. Diaz 4-4, 2 RBI. K. Betancourt 2-4, 2 RBI

•  Region 4-4A semifinal — St. Brendan 13, LaSalle 10: St. Brendan out slugged La Salle to advance from the Region 4-4A semifinal.

The Sabres scored 13 runs on 10 hits, three of them being home runs.

Two of those home runs came from shortstop Miguel Ceballos. Ceballos went 2 for 3 with two home runs, three RBI and four runs scored.

LaSalle’s best chance to take the lead was in the fifth inning. It started the inning trailing by four runs. St. Brendan started the inning by walking the first three batters.

After back-to-back singles by Elier Rodriguez and Mike Avila, LaSalle was only down by one run with two runners on base.

But St. Brendan struck out the next two batters and forced a ground out to end the threat. LaSalle never got as close again.

RUSSELL QUINOA

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WP: Matt Diaz. LP: Mike Matheis

•  Region 4-4A semifinal – Monsignor Pace 10, Coral Springs Charter 4: Monsignor Pace snapped a 3-3 tie with a big six-run third inning and turned the rest over to starting pitcher Luis DeVille and cruised to the easy win at Pace High School.

The Spartans (21-6) advance to their second straight regional final and will take on St. Brendan on Friday at either 4 p.m. at St. Brendan or 7 p.m. at FIU.

DeVille raised his record to 9-1 allowing just five hits in five-plus innings while he watched his teammates put together four consecutive hits to start the big third inning.

After three runs had come in, Brandon Gomez delivered a two-run double to bust things wide open.

Pace scored three times in the first to break out in front before the Panthers (22-8) responded with a three run second thanks to RBI singles from Jorge Solano and Luis Guillorme. Guillorme, Joe McChrystal and Stephen Kerr all went 2 for 4 to lead the way offensively for Charter.

BILL DALEY

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WP: L. DeVille (9-1). LP: T. Romero. Top performers: B. Gomez 2-3, 3 RBI. A. Milo 2-3, 2 RBI. D. Palenzuela 2-3. A. McCoy 2-4. L. Guillorme 2-4, 2 RBI

•  Region 4-2A semifinal — Westwood Christian 6, Brito 2: Senior relief pitcher Jason Gutierrez got a bases-load game-ending double play on a ground ball to third base.

Gutierrez, who entered the game with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, faced only one batter.

“I tried to throw every pitch for a strike,” he said.

Westwood lefty starter Danny Garcia, a University of Miami commitment, pitched 6 1/3 innings giving up seven hits and striking out 10.

Garcia, who gave up two unearned runs, held Brito to a hit through four innings.

“I woke up in beast mode,” Garcia said. “My fastball-curveball was working.”

Offensively for Westwood, Luis Diaz and Anthony Pena each had a pair of RBI. Caludio Rubiera added an RBI. Westwood lead from the start of the game, taking a 3-0 lead in the first inning on several singles.

“The top of the lineup can hit. A couple of guys got on and we just moved the ball well,” Westwood coach Luis Padron said. “I had a couple of plays on but they were just had good approaches at the plate.”

Brito, whose offense struggled at times, scored in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Westwood faces Zion Lutheran in a region 4-2A final Friday.

JUSTIN AZPIAZU

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WP: Danny Garcia.

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