By the look on his face, future University of Miami baseball coach Gino DiMare liked what he saw from Stoneman Douglas pitcher Jesus Luzardo on Wednesday afternoon.
Todd Fitz-Gerald, Luzardo’s coach with the Eagles, certainly did.
Luzardo, a junior who has committed to DiMare and the Hurricanes, gave up five hits and struck out 10 in leading Douglas to a 5-2 victory over visiting Cypress Bay in a Region 3-8A quarterfinal.
Although the Lightning tied the score in the top of the fourth, Douglas pushed across the go-ahead run in the bottom of the frame and held on thanks to two more strong innings from Luzardo and a perfect seventh from closer Devin Conn.
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The Eagles (22-4) will play the winner of Friday’s Cooper City-Taravella game in a regional semifinal Tuesday.
“When he’s on the mound we usually don’t score a whole lot because they know he’s out there and we try and coast,’’ said Fitz-Gerald, whose Eagles lost to West Palm’s Park Vista in the regional finals last year.
“They tied it up but it was huge that we were able to score real quick and grab that momentum back. [Luzardo] may not have had his best stuff, but it was good enough today. He started off strong and it helped us.’’
Douglas gave Luzardo a 2-0 lead in the first inning but the Lightning (13-12) battled back. The Eagles opened the scoring when Pemron Burrows came home on a flare from Yorvis Torrealva with Torrealva scoring off a deep single to right-center from Colton Welker.
Cypress Bay cut into its deficit quickly with Christian Nehls cranking a one-out delivery from Luzardo and depositing it over the left field fence. Nehls later tied it in the fourth with a double down the left field line, ending the inning when caught in a rundown.
“We’re playing pretty well right now; our defense is on point, our pitching is good and we’re getting hits and scoring runs when we need them,’’ Luzardo said. “We have a lot of strengths and when we’re on, I don’t think anyone can beat us.’’
Douglas quickly broke the tie — and took any momentum the Lightning had gained — as Conn opened the fourth with a double then came home on a error on Brady Norris’ fielder’s choice. Douglas added a pair of runs in the fifth to give Luzardo a three run cushion. “I wasn’t letting anything else get by,’’ Luzardo said.
“He was pretty good,” Cypress Bay coach Paul Liotti said. “The third run they scored really hurt. I thought we stole some momentum from them. But we were starting two seniors, the rest were sophomores and juniors. I liked the way we battled for us. We did more this year than anyone else anticipated from us.’’
The Lightning threatened by putting the first two batters on in the sixth, but Luzardo struck out the final three batters of the inning before turning it over to Conn for his fifth save of the season.
“He walked the leadoff batter which is a no-no but he buckled down and got the job done,’’ Fitz-Gerald said. “[Luzardo] definitely gave us a lift.’’
▪ Douglas 5, Cypress Bay 2
CBay: 010-100-0 -- -- 2-5-3
Doug: 200-120-x -- -- 5-7-0
WP: Jesus Luzardo (8-3); LP: Luis Sucre (7-3); Sv: Devon Conn (5). Doug 22-4; CBay 13-12.
▪ 3-8A semifinal — Stoneman Douglas 6, Western 3: Sami Feller overcame a subpar outing (seven walks, two hit batters) yet was good enough to help the Eagles into the regional finals.
Douglas broke a scoreless tie when Dakota Damiani smacked a two-run double to deep centerfield to score Kayla Boyle and Madison Sack for a 2-0 lead. The Eagles (24-6) added three more runs, aided by a pair of Western errors and a wild pitch as the Eagles batted around and took a 5-0 lead.
Western (19-9) answered with two in the fifth — one coming on Allie Lawdan's RBI double and the other when Sydney Bates came home on a wild pitch. The Wildats stranded two runners as Feller pitched her way out of trouble, forcing a groundout to short to prevent further damage.
Douglas added an insurance run in the sixth on Kayla Boyle's RBI double. The Eagles will play host to either Boca Raton or Park Vista in the regional final.
Doug: 000-500-1 -- -- 6-7-1
West: 000-020-1 -- -- 3-5-3
WP: Sami Feller (14-5); LP: Sydney Bates (15-6)
Blanche Ely guard LaQuincy Rideau signed a letter of intent with Gardner-Webb on Tuesday.
The 6-1 Rideau brought timely scoring and a linebacker mentality on defense in Ely’s historic run as the first Broward public school boys’ program to finish the season undefeated (28-0).
Rideau sparked the Tigers to the Class 7A state title and a berth in the Dick’s Sporting Goods National Tournament by averaging 16.2 points, seven assists, five rebounds and five steals per game. Rideau’s all-around game earned him selection to various Class 7A all-state first teams.
BOYS’ DISTRICT VOLLEYBALL
After dominating its district all season long, the Miami High boys’ volleyball team made sure it followed up with a dominating performance in the District 13 tournament Wednesday at Westland Hialeah.
The top-seeded Stingarees mowed down fourth-seeded SLAM Academy in straight sets (25-7, 25-16, 25-8) in an afternoon semifinal before returning a few hours later and sweeping three straight from second-seed Miami Springs in the championship match (25-13, 25-18, 25-20) to capture their second straight district title.
“Miami Springs tried to concentrate on the middle so we tried to run more things to the outside and Springs has smaller blockers on the outside so we felt that would give us a mismatch and our two kids out there,” said Miami High (23-3) head coach Jose Garcia. “Malek Bruori and Manny Melenciano were just tremendous. I think they might have had 25 kills between them.”
Bruori finished with 13 and Melenciano with 12 to go along with five digs, three aces and two blocks.
“It was the whole team tonight, we don’t like taking individual credit for anything,” said Bruori. “We like to take credit as a team because that’s how you keep winning and get far. We want to keep this thing going and feel like we can get this.”
Bruori and Miami High’s next step with be a first-round state play-in match on the road against either Ransom-Everglades or Columbus on Tuesday.
“There was a lot of defense out there tonight, a lot of calling out everything you could read and that was the key,” said Melencianao. “We like to rely more on defense than offense. My teammates do the work and I just finish it. We don’t intend on stopping until we get to state.”
Miami Springs which finished 10-4 hung in there and actually led the final set 18-15 before the Stings went on a 10-2 run to close out the set and match, but fatigue may have played a factor in the title match.
That’s because the Golden Hawks, following a hard-fought and lengthy four-set 26-24, 18-25, 25-15, 28-26 win over Westland Hialeah in the semifinals, had just 30 minutes to turn around and get ready for the title match.”
“We hung in there but we had three different kids cramp up in the championship match,” said first year Springs head coach Saul Raipalo. “But at the same time, you can’t take anything away from Miami High. They’ve got a really powerful and strong front line and deserve to be where they’re at.”
This season is all on the kids,” said Garcia. “They’ve put in a lot of hard work. When they won SLAM Academy Charter tournament last month, I think that really gave them a lot of confidence and now we want to keep it rolling.”
▪ 15 final — Ferguson d. Varela 25-22, 25-23, 25-22: Allain Larroche 36 assists, 4 kills; Haykel Chala 14 kills, 5 digs; Aldahir Escudero 14 kills, 6 digs; Jorge Chiriboga 12 digs, 3 aces.
▪ 10 final — Archbishop McCarthy d. Cypress Bay 25-7, 25-19, 25-14: Michael Moreiras 12 kills, 10 digs; Nick Covone 8 kills, 11 blocks; David Maniglia 8 kills, 6 blocks; Nicky Grossman 20 points, 21 digs. McC 18-8
▪ 8 semifinal — Stoneman Douglas d. Pompano Beach 25-18, 25-19, 25-21: Tyler Smith 14 kills; Matt Castilhos 21 assists; George Spadafora 6 kills.
4-8A quarterfinal: Palmetto at Columbus, 6
4-8A quarterfinal: Coral Gables at South Dade, 7
4-8A quarterfinal at Flamingo: West Broward vs. Miami High, 7
4-8A quarterfinal: Hialeah at Flanagan, 7
3-8A quarterfinal: Taravella at Cooper City, 7
4-7A quarterfinal: Nova at American, 3:30
4-7A quarterfinal: Westland Hialeah at St. Thomas Aquinas, 7
4-7A quarterfinal: Delray Atlantic at Monarch, 4
4-7A quarterfinal: Fort Lauderdale at Royal Palm Beach, 7
4-6A quarterfinal: Miami Springs at Doral, 11 a.m.
4-6A quarterfinal at Florida Memorial: Mater Academy at Goleman, 1
4-6A quarterfinal at Pines Flamingo Park: Port St. Lucie at Pines Charter, 7
4-5A quarterfinal: Riviera Beach Suncoast at Plantation American Heritage, 7
4-5A quarterfinal: Archbishop McCarthy at Melbourne Palm Bay, 7
4-4A quarterfinal: Mater Lakes at Gulliver, 4
4-4A quarterfinal: West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman at Calvary Christian, 4
4-3A quarterfinal at Gibson Park: Palmer Trinity vs. SLAM Academy, 3:30
4-3A quarterfinal: Hialeah Educational at Westminster Christian, 4
4-3A quarterfinal: Highlands Christian at Fort Pierce John Carroll, 6
4-2A quarterfinal at Tamiami Park: Colonial Christian at Brito, 2:30
4-2A quarterfinal at Colonial Christian: Miami Christian vs. Redland Christian, 4
4-2A quarterfinal: Zion Lutheran at Sheridan Hills Christian, 4
4-8A semifinal: Flanagan at McArthur, 5
4-7A semifinal: West Boca Raton at Monarch, 4
4-5A semifinal: Riviera Beach Suncoast at American Heritage, 7
4-4A semifinal: Florida Christian at Gulliver, 11:30 a.m.
4-4A semifinal at Betti Stradling Park: Calvary Christian vs. Coral Springs Charter, 4
4-3A semifinal at Palmetto Bay: Marathon vs. Westminster Christian, 7
District 8 final at Coral Glades: 6
District 9 final at Cardinal Gibbons: 6
District 10 final at Archbishop McCarthy: 6
District 11 final at McArthur: 5
District 12 final at Mourning: 7
District 14 final at Belen Jesuit: 7
District 16 final at Palmetto: 6
District 27 final at Deerfield Beach: 6
District 28 final at Dillard: 6
District 29 final at South Plantation: 6