Taravella broke a scoreless tie with a two-run sixth inning and held on for a 2-0 victory over Cypress Bay in the Class 8A regional quarterfinals Thursday night.
With runners on first and second in the top of the sixth, Gavin Robinson delivered a two-out single up the middle to drive in Julio Bautista and put Taravella in front 1-0. During the next at-bat, Manny Pentaleon, who had reached third base on Robinson’s single, scored on a passed ball by Cypress Bay catcher Devin Ramirez to give the Trojans their 2-0 margin of victory.
“[Robinson] has been swinging the bat hot and he’s been a presence in the middle of the lineup,” Taravella coach Alan Clark said. “That’s all I can ask for, and he came up big again [Thursday].”
The Lightning loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, but the Trojans made the play of the night to clinch the victory. Tommy Quintero drilled a ball toward first baseman Nik Sanders, who dove for the ball. Sanders knocked it down with his glove and was able to gather it and toss it to pitcher Justin Hamilton at first base to get Quintero for the final out of the game.
In the regional semifinals, Taravella will face Stoneman Douglas, which defeated Cooper City 6-5 on Thursday night.
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WP: Verardi. LP: Rodriguez. SV: Hamilton. Top Performers TV: Verardi 5 IN, 5 H, 2 K, 2 BB. Hamilton 2 IN, 4 K, 4 BB. Robinson 1-3, RBI.
In the bottom of the ninth, Luis Barranco — hitless in his prevous four at-bats, including three strikeouts — hit a two-out single that was misplayed in left field, allowing David Vasquez to score from second with the winning run.
The play made a winner of right-hander Gentry Fortuno (9-0), who held Miami Beach to five hits and struck out 14 batters in going the distance.
He managed to out-duel Miami Beach starter Jonathan Gonzalez, who gave up just one unearned run and often pitched out of trouble. He finished with a no-decision before giving way to reliever Blake Brattain in the seventh.
“We knew we were facing the No. 2-ranked team nationally,” the sophomore said. “We had our best game. I knew this was something special in the first inning.”
The Falcons (23-1) will face Miami Senior High on Tuesday.
Miami Beach closed its season at 8-13.
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WP: Fortuno (9-0), LP: Brattain (2-2)
The game was a pitching duel between Miami High’s Edgar Aparicio, who pitched all 10 innings for Stingarees and earned the win, and Everglades’ Raul Quesada. Quesada finished the game allowing just one earned run in eight innings, and got a no-decision.
“They’re fighters and they fought to the very end,” Miami High coach Frank Suarez said of his team. “That’s what got us to this point in the first place.”
The Gators scored their lone run off Aparicio in the fourth inning after right fielder Michael Van Ryn led off the inning with a single. He came in to score on a ground-out to give Everglades the lead.
Quesada cruised through five scoreless innings before hitting a bump in sixth. Miami High got a leadoff single from second baseman Gustavo Miranda in the bottom of the inning and later scored on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Larry Bravo to the score at 1.
Neither team was able to break the stalemate until Rivas, who finished the game 3 for 3 with three singles, hit a hard line drive over the right fielder’s head with two outs to drive in the winning run from third base.
The Stingarees will face Flanagan in the regional semifinal on Tuesday.
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Miami High 000 001 000 1 - 2 7 3