With Nova down to its final strike in regional semifinals, Jose Oliva belted a two-run home run over the center-field wall that put the Titans up 5-4 and in position to upset nationally ranked district foe St. Thomas Aquinas.
Except none of that officially happened. Light rain became a heavy downpour and eventually flooded St. Thomas’ aptly named Ed Waters Field into a condition umpires deemed unplayable.
According to FHSAA rules, the game, which can go final after 4 1/2 innings if the home team leads, reverts back to the score of the last completed inning. After six innings on Tuesday, St. Thomas Aquinas led 4-2, and that will go down as the final score.
The Raiders (22-4) will move on and visit Royal Palm Beach in a regional final. The Titans (17-8), who have now lost all four meetings with Aquinas this season, essentially ended their season on their own walk-off homer.
“It might not count, but between all these fans here, all the players, my team, my brothers and my family, they know it’s a win,” Oliva said.
Added Nova coach Pat McQuaid, “It’s not fair to the kids, but that’s the rule.”
McQuaid said he will appeal the ruling but doesn’t think the FHSAA will change it.
St. Thomas centerfielder Jawuan Harris went 2 for 2 with a home run, a walk, three runs scored and four stolen bases. He would’ve come up in the bottom of the seventh.
NOV 0 0 2 0 0 0 X — 2 7 3
STA 1 0 1 0 1 0 X — 4 7 0
WP: Jordan Spicer. LP: Vince Coletti. SV: Nick Marchese.
▪ Region 4-5A semifinal — Archbishop McCarthy 3, American Heritage 0: Showing plenty of resilience despite being a mostly sophomore-led group, the Mavericks (24-5) avenged their loss to weeks ago to the host Patriots (20-8) to win their third game in four meetings this season.
One of the sophomores, right fielder Adan Fernandez hit a solo home run in the third and a run-scoring double in the fifth as McCarthy advanced as far as the regional finals for the seventh consecutive season. The Mavericks will host Merritt Island at 7 p.m. Friday in the regional final.
Daniel Federman and Brian Van Belle combined for the four-hit shutout. Federman went four innings, allowing three hits and striking out two. Van Belle pitched the final three and struck out four.
ANDRE C. FERNANDEZ
AM 001 011 0 – 3 4 2
AH 000 000 0 – 0 4 0
WP: Daniel Federman. LP: Baily Mantilla (2-2). SV: Brian Van Belle.
▪ Region 4-7A semifinal — Royal Palm Beach 1, Monarch 0:
RPB 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 — 1 3 0
MON 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 3 1
WP: McKenzie (6-4). LP: Hennessey (8-3). RPB 18-12. MON 21-4.
▪ State second round play-in — Everglades 13, Pace 0: The Gators earned a trip to Tallahassee later this week for the state championship tournament.
A staunch Gators defense frustrated the Spartans passing game, which sputtered for most of the night as the offense struggled to move the chains and get into red-zone territory.
This will be the Gators’ second trip to the state tournament and their first appearance in almost a decade.
Quarterback Nicole Lennie threw two touchdown passes for the Gators, both to Karima Harris, who has been a key weapon for Everglades for most of the season.
Lennie hit a wide open Harris in stride with just under seven minutes to play in the first quarter for a 30-yard score to give the Gators the early 6-0 lead.
Then after a long scoring drought, Lennie threw a floating pass that landed in the hands of Harris at the goal line for a 20-yard touchdown toss with 4:20 remaining in the fourth quarter to seal the Everglades victory.
▪ State second round play-in — Taravella 40, Boyd Anderson 13: After nursing a one-point lead midway in the second quarter, the Trojans pulled away with four unanswered touchdowns to earn a spot in the state quarterfinal round.
Mariah Triplett threw six touchdown passes, three of them to Jordan Gomes and two to Kristen Gomes, to lead Taravella (12-3).
The Trojans, who will face Everglades in Friday’s round of eight in Tallahassee, jumped out to a 14-0 lead before the Cobras (8-4) answered with two touchdowns passes from quarterback Kenya Lindo.
▪ For Wednesday’s schedule, go to MiamiHerald.com/sports