Just 11 days after capturing the Gold Bracket championship of the HSBN March Madness Shootout, the Coral Park baseball team continued its winning ways on Monday afternoon.
The Rams traveled to Miami Springs High School for a GMAC quarterfinal contest and brought the big bats with them as they pounded out 15 hits en route to a 12-4 victory over the Golden Hawks.
Coral Park (15-7) advanced to the GMAC semifinals and will take on Killian, which clobbered Reagan in its quarterfinal matchup, on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Killian High School.
Columbus, which knocked off Goleman 4-1, will take on the Palmetto/Hialeah winner immediately following at approximately 4:30 p.m.
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“We really came out to play,” Coral Park coach Butch Carnicero said. “It’s always a good feeling when the kids come out and their minds are right and everything clicked today.”
Carnicero watched his team jump all over Springs starter Joel Gonzalez with three runs in the top of the first, a two-out, two-run double by Bran Socorro the big blow. Springs (16-5) quickly answered with two in the bottom half of the inning thanks to back-to-back, two-out RBI singles from Orlando Borroto and Steven Torres.
But the Rams came right back with two more in the second on a two-run single from Frank Estevez and never looked back, scoring one more in the fourth and three in the fifth to open up a 9-2 lead.
Luis Vitier (6-1) started the game on the mound for Coral Park and went 4 2/3 innings, scattering seven hits and striking out four, to record the win.
“Coach just told us to go out there and be aggressive at the plate and that’s what we did,” said Coral Park leadoff hitter Erwin Hernandez, who went 4 for 5 with a double and an RBI. “The idea was to hop on that first pitch and that’s what we did. It was just a matter of coming out and jumping on them early, and we just went from there.”
Said Carnicero: “Erwin doesn’t know any other speed. He sets the tone for us, and it’s awesome having him at the top of the lineup.”
▪ Columbus 4, Goleman 1: Pitcher Danny San Pedro improved to a perfect 8-0 as he struck out eight batters and gave up just three hits in five innings as host Columbus knocked off Goleman.
Slinky Maderos relieved San Pedro and went six up and six down in his two innings of work to record his county-leading sixth save.
Michael Mas had a two-run triple in the second to stake the Explorers (22-1) to an early 2-0 lead and, after the Gators trimmed the lead to 2-1, Chris Bohrer came through with a two-run triple to give San Pedro the breathing room he needed.
▪ Killian 13, Reagan 0: The host Cougars turned in an offensive onslaught, pounding out 16 hits to record the easy five-inning mercy rule victory over the Bison.
Leading the way for Killian (19-5) were Freddy Zamora (3 for 3, three doubles, three RBI), Adrian Parra (2 for 2, two doubles, three RBI) and Kyle Krtaustch who was 3 for 3 with an RBI.