Leadoff hitter Brandon Diaz hit a two-run home run in the fourth before completing the scoring in the sixth; Zardon ended the game with a two-run single to put the mercy rule in effect.
WP: Anderson (15-2). LP: Blatch
• Region 4-3A semifinal — Coral Springs Christian 4, Boca Raton Pope John Paul II 3: Trailing Boca Raton Pope John Paul II after the second inning, host Coral Springs Christian rallied behind a four-run third inning and pitcher Eric Hepple’s six innings as the Crusaders defeated the Eagles in Coral Springs.
Coral Springs Christian (22-6) advances to the regional final on Friday.
Pope John Paul II (17-12) strung together four hits for three runs in the second to take a 3-0 lead.
“He’s one of the biggest competitors that I have ever coached,” Crusaders coach Matt Cleveland said of Hepple. “We’ve been talking all year about staying in the moment and Hep came in and said, ‘I got this.’”
From the third inning, Hepple, with the help of his defense behind him, settled in and struck out four Eagles and forced multiple flyouts during his final four
The Crusaders broke through against Eagles starter Johnny Sheridan in the third inning as Abraham Alejandro’s RBI double to the left-center field gap put the Crusaders on the scoreboard.
After a Touki Toussaint’s chopper over the third baseman scored a run, Hepple helped his cause with a two-run single to left to give the Crusaders the deciding two runs.
“The first at-bat, it was fastball then curveball,” Hepple said about Sheridan’s pitch sequence. “When you get a fastball for a ball, I knew that it was a curveball, so I just sat back on it.”
WP: Hepple (6-0) 6IP, 7K. LP: Sheridan (4-1). Top performers: K. Toussaint 1-3, RBI. Santiago 1-3. Hepple 1-3, 2 RBI. Buckley 2-3. Alejandro 1-2, double, RBI. Gogreve 1-4, triple.
• Region 4-2A semifinal — Zion Lutheran 4, Mater East 0: Alex Ernestine pitched a three-hitter and struck out 13 in the Lions’ win over the Scorpions (12-7) at Curtis Park.
Zion will face Westwood Christian in the Region 4-2A final.
“I did my job,” said Ernestine, who pitched all seven innings. “I felt like my fastball had major zip.”
Zion (13-9) scored three of its runs in the second. The first run came on a single by Blayne Baker. The next two runs were scored on a hit by Robert Barradas.
Following the three-run second inning, the game as a pitchers duel. Mater East’s Renny Tolentino pitched well after the second inning and had six strikeouts on the day.
Tolentino was pulled in the sixth, when the Lions loaded the bases. Zion scored its fourth run in the sixth.
WP: Ernestine (6-4) 7IP, 13K. LP: Tolentino (4-2). Top performers: Nick Vazquez 2-3, RBI, 2 singles. Barradas 1-3, 2 RBI.
Class 7A state final at Vero Beach Sports Village:
Class 5A state final at Vero Beach Sports Village:
Class 8A state semifinal at Vero Beach Sports Village:
Class 6A state semifinal at Vero Beach Sports Village:
Class 4A state semifinal at Vero Beach Sports Village:
Class 2A state semifinal at Vero Beach Sports Village:
State quarterfinals at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee
Class 8A state final at Vero Beach Sports Village:
Class 6A state final at Vero Beach Sports Village:
Class 4A state final at Vero Beach Sports Village:
Class 2A state final at Vero Beach Sports Village:
State championship at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee