Columbus and Belen opened Marlins Park two years ago with a memorable game between the two longtime rivals.
They faced each other again Monday night at another notable South Florida baseball venue opening their respective regular seasons against each other at Alex Rodriguez Park.
But this chapter belonged completely to the Explorers, who routed Belen 11-0 in a game stopped after five innings because of the high school mercy rule.
Chris Coipel picked up the shutout. He struck out seven, allowed one hit and didn’t issue a walk.
Ryan Alvarez, who is set to play his college ball at University of Miami, had two hits and drove in three runs to lead Columbus (1-0). Danny Diaz had three hits.
Gil Torres had a two-run triple and Jackie Urbaez also had a run-scoring double.
“It’s always a great experience playing in these games,” Columbus coach Joe Weber said. “You can’t simulate this unless it’s a championship game atmosphere.”
Progrounds Invitational—Columbus 11, Belen 0: WP: Chris Coipel (1-0).
COL 3 0 0 4 4 — 11 12 0
BEL 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 1 0