With a young core of players that includes 17 juniors, Coral Gables’ baseball team is hoping to make a deep run in this year’s Class 8A playoffs.
But more than talent and experience, Cavaliers coach Phil Wisser wants to see his team display guts in tough situations.
Gables did that again Tuesday afternoon albeit in a 6-6 tie against district rival Columbus that was called after six innings because of rain.
Being a District 15-8A contest, the game will likely be completed at a later date and a site to be determined.
Coral Gables (5-0-1) remained undefeated just days after securing a huge victory against Southwest Ranches Archbishop McCarthy, which entered the week ranked No. 1 nationally by MaxPreps.com.
“I’m happy with our ability to battle [Tuesday],” Wisser said. “This is the first time we’ve trailed in a regular season game, and these kids didn’t quit.”
Columbus (4-2-1) took a 6-4 lead in the top of the fifth following a two-run home run to right field by Ryan Alvarez.
But the Cavaliers answered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth.
With a runner on third and two outs, Elih Marrero hit a grounder to second that was bobbled, allowing him to beat the throw to first and drive in the run to cut the deficit to 6-5. After stealing second, Marrero tied the game on Coco Montes’ RBI single to left. Montes, however, was tagged out advancing to end the inning.
The umpires then stopped the game as it began to rain.
“We’ve been following a one-pitch, one-inning mentality and trying to stick with that and not take anybody lightly,” Wisser said. “This is a group of guys that are close-knit.”
Alvarez went 1 for 3, Pablo De Armas went 2 for 3 with a run and a double and Nelson Mompierre went 1 for 2 with an RBI to lead Columbus.
The Explorers, who are also contenders to win their region, suffered losses recently to South Dade and Pembroke Pines Flanagan.
Andrew Cabezas pitched 4 2/3 innings for Gables, striking out six, and Brian Melendez struck out three in an 1 1/3 innings of relief. Raymond Gonzalez went 2 for 4 with a run scored. Yancarlos Hernandez went 2 for 2.
COL 012 030 – 6 7 2
CG 202 002 – 6 9 0