Archbishop McCarthy opened its quest for its state-record fifth consecutive state championship behind a no-hit effort from University of Miami commit Brian Gonzalez on Wednesday night.
The Mavericks beat Riviera Beach Suncoast 4-0 in a Region 4-5A quarterfinal powered by Gonzalez’s complete game that included 13 strikeouts.
Gonzalez (9-1) owned the Chargers from the first batter to the last, getting Suncoast hitter Tyler Frye for strikeout No. 13 to extend the Mavericks’ postseason winning streak to 21 games.
“This being a regional quarterfinal we knew it would be a tough game because Suncoast is a scrappy team,” Gonzalez said. “So it feels great to be able to come out and shut them down [Wednesday]. I was a little erratic with my fastball early but I kind of found it late. …My defense backed me up, the offense got me a few runs and it was all good from there.”
And if there was someone he really need to thank, it might have been center fielder Michael Gigliotti. Two outs away from the no-hitter, Gigliotto made a diving catch after a great jump on a drive by Suncoast’s Liam Lyons to the gap in right center.
“It’s tough to take a kid out when he’s being so dominant and pitching so well and it’s a regional playoff game, not a game early in the season or something,” said McCarthy coach Rich Bielski, who added that Gonzalez would have had some no-hitters during the regular season but pulled him because he was worried about the pitch count. “He really begged us to leave him in and we know that he works so hard year-round to condition his body that we knew he had plenty left in the tank to finish it off and he really earned it.”
McCarthy (26-2) got Gonzalez the only runs he would need by scoring twice in the second inning when Alex Toral led off with a double, Alex Rodriguez drew a walk and, after advancing to second and third on a wild pitch, both scored on a Dylan Bautista single.
The Mavericks scored two more runs in the third on an RBI sacrifice fly Ryan Sinzenich and another RBI single from Bautista.
The McCarthy win sets up an anticipated rematch with Cardinal Gibbons next week.
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It was all Aquinas from that point on as the host Raiders cruised to past Doral Reagan in five innings.
St. Thomas (18-6), a team that reached states last season, advances to the regional semifinals, where it will host Hialeah American on Tuesday.
Aquinas starting pitcher Nick Marchese pitched a complete-game shutout, striking out five and giving up just three hits. He also went 2 for 2 at the plate with a walk and a two-run double.
St. Thomas will send Jordan Spicer to the mound against American on Tuesday.
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The Flying L’s (12-10-1) surrendered two errors in the first inning, giving the Panthers (18-6) an early 3-0 lead.
The Panthers will play Atlantic in the Class 7A regional semifinals.
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