Archbishop McCarthy’s three-year state championship reign is over.
Host American Heritage pounded 14 hits, including two home runs, to oust the Mavericks with a 12-3 victory in the Region 4-6A regional semifinal on Wednesday.
McCarthy (16-12) had defeated Heritage the last two times the teams had met in the region semifinal. The Mavericks loss was the worse in the school’s playoff history. In allowing the 12 runs, they fell to 40-5 all-time in the playoffs.
The Patriots (25-3) will play the Merritt Island/Rockledge winner in a regional final on Tuesday.
“Early on we were in scoring position,” American Heritage coach Bruce Aven said. “I didn’t care what the situation was, it has always come done to one hit and that was how those games went the last four years.
“I told the guys I didn’t want that to happen to us today. I told them to take advantage of the opportunities on the pitches you are good at hitting.”
Heritage rallied from an early 2-0 deficit, took a 3-2 in the bottom of the thirds inning before piling it on.
Designated hitter Santiago Garavito opened the bottom of the fourth inning with a home run to open the flood gates. Right-fielder Matt Ruiz, who went 3 of 4 with three RBI and a run, added a two-run double to end the scoring in the fourth for a 8-2 lead.
Third-baseman Triston Casas went also had a good day going 2 for 4 with three RBI and two runs.
“This has been a long time coming for all of us,” Casas said. “To come out here and final coming out on top in a regional semifinal against Archbishop McCarthy feels pretty good.”
The Patriots lost to McCarthy in the 2015-16 regional semifinals. The Mavericks suffered their first loss in a regional semifinal in 11 games.
Heritage starter Ryan Cabarcas improved to 11-0, going 5<AF>1/3 innings, allowing seven hits, three earned runs, while striking out five. Danial Paret took the loss (4-3), going 4<AF><AF>1/3 innings, and allowing five runs off eight hits.
Heritage added four more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, keyed by a two-run homer by Cory Acton.
Region 4-4A Final
Calvary Christian-Florida Christian (postponed): Calvary Christian holds a 3-0 lead over Florida Christian through four innings. The game was delayed because of lightning and postponed because of darkness. It’s scheduled to resume Thursday at noon at Calvary Christian.
The game was delayed with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. When play resumed, senior David Judge hit a three-run homer for Calvary.
Christian Scott, who started for Calvary, allowed one hit and struck out seven.
“We really wanted to play this and even play at Florida Christian on Tuesday,” Calvary coach Alan Kunkel said. “We focus on the things we can control, and Christian threw four strong innings and who ever we throw tomorrow will continue on his success.”
Kunkel said he’ll start either Roberto Pena or Skylar Gonzalez on the mound on Thursday.
▪ Regional semifinal games rescheduled for Thursday because of inclement weather: Class 9A: Flanagan at Douglas at 3 p.m. Class 8A: St. Thomas Aquinas at Coral Glades at 6:30, and Westland Hialeah at Nova at 1.