High School Sports

Chris Coipel’s gem lifts Columbus over South Dade in regional baseball semifinal

Chris Coipel hasn’t been feeling too well lately.

Through the regional playoffs so far, Columbus’ senior pitcher has been battling flu-like symptoms.

That’s news to his opponents.

Coipel’s mastery on the mound continued Wednesday and got his team within one win of the state final four as he helped Columbus dethrone reigning Class 8A state champion South Dade, 1-0 in a Region 4-8A semifinal at the Bucs’ home field.

Coipel, an FIU signee, threw a one-hitter and struck out eight as he improved his personal record to 11-1 for the season.

Columbus (24-5), which won its 12th consecutive game, will host Pembroke Pines Flanagan in the regional final at 7 p.m. and will try to reach state for the first time since 2012.

Columbus got its lone run quickly in the first inning when Hernan Sardinas doubled home Danny Casals.

Coipel gave up his lone hit in the fourth inning when South Dade catcher Gabe Cruz singled to left with two outs. Coipel recovered quickly as second baseman Artie Paula popped up in the infield to end the threat.

South Dade also put two runners on base with two outs in the bottom of the seventh when Coipel hit Paula with a pitch and walked right fielder Christian Ibanez. But then designated hitter Richie Sobalvarro hit a soft liner to Casals at short to end the game.

COL 100 000 0 – 1 2 0

SD 000 000 0 – 0 1 1

WP: Chris Coipel (11-1). LP: Jose Gorordo.

▪ Region 4-6A semifinal — Mater Academy 2, Doral Academy 1: Having pitched a one-hitter in the state championship last season, Kevin Fuentes is no stranger to big games.

With the Lions needing an immaculate performance against a district rival they lost their two previous meetings with, he delivered again when it mattered most.

Fuentes pitched a complete game, giving up one run on three hits and striking out 10 to get Mater past Doral Academy in a regional semifinal rescheduled for Wednesday at Coral Gables after a rainout Tuesday.

Mater (17-9) will face the winner of Pines Charter and Jensen Beach in the regional final.

Fuentes had to get through a bases-loaded, first inning jam, but Doral (20-8) could only muster one run. After that, it was smooth sailing.

The Lions pulled even in the third when leadoff man Michael Escarra scored on a wild pitch. In the fourth, Escarra drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI double in the left-center field gap.


MA 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 — 2 7 0

DA 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 1 2 1

WP: Kevin Fuentes. LP: Christian Cuba. MA 17-9. DA 20-8-1.

▪ Region 4-4A semifinal — Gulliver 2, St. Brendan 1:Javy Valdes hit a walk-off single off the fence in left field to lift the host Raiders (23-6) over the Sabres (13-14).

Gulliver will play host to Calvary Christian in Tuesday’s regional final.

The Sabres appeared headed for an upset when they took a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth. Tyler Paige hit a bloop two-out double to right-center and scored on Ryan Hernandez’s single off the fence in left. Hernandez was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double.

St. Brendan pitcher Hugo Casilla was four outs away from giving his team the upset victory and winning his matchup against Gulliver left-hander Evan Kravitz.

But Gulliver right fielder Gio Soto saved the Raiders’ season, hitting a towering homer to left to tie the score 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth.


SB 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 — 1 5 1

GP 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 — 2 3 0

WP: Rob Touron. LP: Andres Fernandez. SB 13-13. GP 22-6.

▪ Region 3-8A semifinal — Douglas 10, Taravella 8: In a see-saw fourth meeting between the cross-town rivals, the host Eagles prevailed when they erased an 8-6 Taravella lead with a four-run sixth inning rally to advance to regional final.

Shortstop Colton Welker led Douglas (23-4) by going 2 for 3 with four RBI, including an early two-run home run that opened the scoring. The No. 3 hitter knocked in the eventual go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth with a sacrifice fly to deep right field, scoring Jordan Hill (who earlier hit a game-tying two-run double in the rally) to make it 9-8.

The next batter, cleanup hitter Dominic DiCaprio, capped the rally with an RBI single for the two-run lead. Reliever Devin Conn (2-0) pitched out of trouble in Taravella’s final turn at bat with a flyout with two men on base.

The Eagles, who won all four games against Taravella (16-1), will host nationally ranked Park Vista for the right to advance to the state final four.


TAR 0 0 0 4 0 4 0 — 8 11 3

DOU 2 0 1 3 0 4 X — 10 8 3

WP: Devin Conn (2-0) LP: Logan Constanzo (2-2). Henry Matias HR. Colin Welker HR.

▪ Region 4-8A semifinal — Flanagan 9, West Broward 0: Ace right-hander Gentry Fortuno threw a one-hit shutout as Flanagan routed West Broward.

Hunter Platts was 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBI, as lumber leader for the Falcons (21-5).

Dylan O’Connell and Mark Vientos each had two RBI in the win. The Falcons face either Columbus or South Dade on Tuesday in the regional final. Fortuno had no walks and eight strikeouts in the victory.


WB 000 000 0 – 0 1 1

F 241 110 x – 9 8 2

WP: Fortuno, LP: McDonald

▪ Region 4-3A semifinal — Westminster Christian 11, Palmer Trinity 0: The host Warriors (21-7-1) won by the mercy rule, crushing the Falcons (21-5) in 41/2 innings.

Three of Palmer’s five losses this season were against Westminster, and all three were by the mercy rule. In total, the Warriors outscored Palmer 32-0 this season.

Westminster advances to play host to Palm Beach Gardens Benjamin in Tuesday’s regional final.

The Warriors hit three homers against Palmer — a two-run shot by Vanderbilt recruit Julian Infante and solo blasts by Jakob Zarello and Alvaro Valdez.


PT 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 1 0

WC 2 3 6 0 X — 11 10 1

WP: Ryan Terry. LP: Taylor Walker. PT 21-5. WC 27-7-1.

▪ Region 4-2A semifinal — Brito 4, Miami Christian 1: Defending 2A champion Brito Miami loaded the bases with two outs and scored three runs in the fourth in a win over Miami Christian at Florida Memorial University.

The Panthers (15-11) will host Boca Raton Christian in the regional final on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Florida Memorial University.

“I think we can go all the way like last year,” said Brito’s Marco Bolano, who pitched a complete game with 10 strikeouts.

Two of the fourth-inning runs were scored on a single by Robert Hernandez.


MC 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 — 1 4 1

BM 0 0 0 3 1 0 X — 4 7 0

WP: Marco Bolano (4-3). LP: JC Laser(6-2). Robert Hernandez 1-3, 2 RBI single. MC 13-13. BM 15-11.

▪ Region 4-6A semifinal — Jensen Beach 8, Pembroke Pines Charter 5: Scott Thrasher struck out with the bases loaded for the final out in the bottom of the seventh inning as Pembroke Pines Charter School dropped the Region 6A semifinal to Jensen Beach 8-5.

The Jaguars (29-5-1) scored three runs on two walks and four consecutive singles, but they could get no closer as they lost to Jensen Beach, who will face Mater Academy at home for the regional title.

Anthony Garcia started on the mound for the Jaguars and was saddled with the loss. He tossed four innings of two-hit baseball, but he hit two batters and walked three.

His throwing error in the second inning on a pickoff attempt led to two runs as the ball sailed into right field.

Jensen Beach starter Lyon Richardson, a freshman, made his first career start and scattered four hits over five scoreless innings. He helped his own cause with a three-run double in the fifth inning that broke the game open.

Jerbari Brooks went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI's to lead Jensen Beach. Daniel Rodriguez-Velez had a double and two RBI's for Pines Charter.


▪ Region 4-4A semifinal — Calvary Christian 2, American Heritage Delray 1:

AHD 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 6 0

CCA 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 4 1

WP: Andrew Gottfried (10-1) 2 IP, 2K. Thomas Taborda 5IP, 7K. Nick Benevento 1-3, 2B. Winn Allen 1B, RBI. Christian Scott 1-1 GW RBI. CC 23-6.


▪ Late Tuesday, State play-in — Monarch d. Boca Raton (25-17, 21-25, 25-23, 25-22): Sean Drexl 42 assists, 6 kills, 8 digs, 9 points, 2 aces. Gabe Mohammed 13 kills, 3 blocks. MON 23-2.