It probably would have been a lot more fun to record the final out and storm the mound in celebration, but Mother Nature had different plans for the Columbus baseball team late Tuesday afternoon.
The Explorers were leading Palmetto 3-0 with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the fifth when the lightning detector went off.
The game then went into a long delay and, after one hour and 40 minutes, it was officially called at 7:20 p.m. Because Palmetto already had five at-bats, the game was official and the Explorers had themselves a 3-0 win in a Region 4-9A semifinal at Columbus High School.
Columbus (21-5) moves on to the regional final and the Explorers will travel to play either Hialeah or Miami Beach on May 22. The Hialeah/Beach was postponed Tuesday night as well as just about every other game in Dade and Broward County when inclement weather moved in.
“A little uneventful and certainly not the way you want to move on in the playoffs, but it is what it is and we’ll take it and keep moving on,” Columbus coach Joe Weber said.
“We would’ve liked to have played seven but I thought we played great baseball for five innings and at the end of the day, we made all the plays we needed to make and got the clutch hits when we needed them.”
Weber also got an outstanding pitching performance from starter and the team’s new ace, Anthony Arguelles. A
rguelles stepped up into the No. 1 role last month when ace starter and University of Pittsburgh commit Danny San Pedro went down with a season-ending arm injury requiring Tommy John surgery.
Arguelles, a senior who also quarterbacked the football team to a regional semifinal berth last fall and is still weighing football, baseball and academic options, dominated from the opening pitching, limiting the Panthers (23-5) to just one hit to raise his season record to 9-1.
“Everything was working for me today and I was really locating it well and hitting my spots,” said Arguelles who has feelers from San Diego State and Furman for baseball but is still weighing football, baseball and academic options. “When Danny went down it was not just up to me but all of us to step up without him so I just wanted to do my part today. We still have a deep pitching staff so we feel good about keeping this deep run going.”
Arguelles got the only run he would need when Chris Bohrer drilled a pitch off Palmetto starter Ryan MacInnes in the first inning to the left center field gap for an RBI double.
The Explorers made it 2-0 in the second when Sebastian Serratta, the No. 7 hitter in the lineup and who was a pitcher on the team before asking Weber to let him be a designated hitter last month, drilled a tape measure solo home run over the high well in left field.
“I was just looking for something that I could drive and he threw me a change-up inside and caught a good piece of the barrel,” said Serratta. “It feels great to be able to contribute offensively after I came down with an injury so I worked to become a better hitter so I could find a way to contribute to my team.” “He just kept bugging me and bugging me that he wanted to at least be able to hit and try and contribute,” said Weber. “Now he has three home runs in his last 20 at-bats.” Columbus got its other run in the fifth and still had the bases loaded with two outs when the weather disruption arrived.
The game has been rescheduled at the same location at
BROWARD RAINED OUT
Ongoing inclement weather throughout Broward County postponed all regional semifinal high school baseball games scheduled for Tuesday.
All five games have all been rescheduled for Wednesday.
In Class 9A Flanagan will play at Stoneman Douglas at 3 p.m., in Class 7A St. Thomas Aquinas at Coral Glades is set for 6:30 and Westland Hialeah at Nova will be played at 7.
Doral Academy vs. Pembroke Pines Charter will be played at Flamingo Park in a Class 7A at 11 a.m.
Finally, the Class 6A game between defending state champion Archbishop McCarthy at American Heritage is set