The South Broward baseball team was in a giving mood on Wednesday afternoon, and the American Patriots were more than glad to be on the receiving end.
The Bulldogs commited five errors that led to five unnearned Patriots runs as American came out a 5-1 winner in a Region 4-7A quarterfinal at American High School. With that, American (22-5), looking for a second consecutive trip to the state final four in Fort Myers, will travel to Broward County on Tuesday to take on St. Thomas Aquinas.
South Broward (10-14) committed two errors in the first inning, which led to three runs to stake Patriots starter Ronnie Williams to an early 3-0 lead, and then three more in the last of the sixth that led to two more American runs.
Even though his team is moving on, American coach Ricky Gutierrez was less than enthused over his team’s performance, which netted just six hits off South Broward stater Kenny Rasor and also saw the Patriots strand 10 baseruners, including a pair of second-and-third, no-out situations in the third and fifth.
“Just low energy [Wednesday],” Gutierrez said. “I know we have a goal here to get back to state, but [Wednesday] was a struggle. Our kids just weren’t here. We were lucky to get those three runs in the first inning and give Ronnie an early lead to work with, but really did nothing to build on that lead. I’ll take the win, but we’re going to have to do better next week, especially if it’s Aquinas. They’re a tough club, and if we come to play like we did [Wednesday], we’ll be in trouble.”
Despite pitching a two-hit shutout, Williams came out after the fifth to make room for reliever Alex Blanco. But it almost backfired as Blanco struggled, giving up two base hits and a hit batter as the Bulldogs scored their only run to cut the American lead to 3-1.
But, after Jose Chavez and Edison Cabrera each reached base on an error at shortstop and first base, respectively, to lead off the sixth, the plate was set for American to score its other two unearned runs. Andy Figueroa took the mound in the seventh and struck out the side to finish things off.
SB 000 001 0 – 1 4 5
AM 300 002 x – 5 6 0
Hialeah coach Jonathan Hernandez stepped down as the school’s baseball coach to accept the head coaching position at ASA College in North Miami, which will play its inaugural season next year.
Columbus had three boys’ basketball players sign with colleges.
Guard David Diaz signed with Husson University in Maine. Guard Sheldon Durant signed with Babson in Massachusetts and guard Chris Melendez signed with Lindenwood Belleville College in Illinois.
CC 2 3 2 0 3 1 2 — 13
PC 0 0 5 2 4 0 1 — 12