High School Sports

Pace and Douglas reach regional finals in baseball

Monsignor Pace pitcher and University of Miami commit Yordany Carmona was brilliant on Friday morning as he threw a one-hit shutout as the Spartans edged Mater Lakes 1-0 in a Region 4-5A semifinal at Doral Academy.
Monsignor Pace pitcher and University of Miami commit Yordany Carmona was brilliant on Friday morning as he threw a one-hit shutout as the Spartans edged Mater Lakes 1-0 in a Region 4-5A semifinal at Doral Academy. For the Miami Herald

With the University of Miami baseball program anxiously waiting for his him to arrive, Monsignor Pace pitcher

YordaniCarmona gave everyone a glimpse of things to come on Friday morning.

That following a brilliant outing that saw him come within one strike of no-hitting Mater Lakes in a Region 4-5A semifinal at Doral Academy.

But in a game that took three days to play with days of heavy rains eventually forcing Pace to move the game from its home field to Doral, which has a turf field, Carmona didn’t mind one bit. Because one batter later, he struck out Jonathan Ortiz to end the game and preserve Pace’s narrow 1-0 win over the Bears advancing the Spartans to next week’s Region 4-5A final.

Pace (21-6), which struggled to a 10-6 start but has now won 11 in a row, will travel to Coconut Creek to take on North Broward Prep on May 22 at 7 p.m. after NBP edged Ft. Pierce Lincoln Academy 2-1 on Friday in its semifinal.

“I knew they would be a tough opponent and had to come out with my best stuff,” today,” said Carmona who committed to UM a year ago when he was still at Archbishop McCarthy and was one of five Mavericks to transfer to Pace after last season. “I was working the outside corner a lot to see how much the [umpire] would give me, my fast ball was good, two-seam was there and just kept it low all game long.”

Incredibly, it was the third time this season that Cardona, who only allowed one other base runner on a second inning walk, was one out away from a no-hitter, only to lose it.

“I know Yordani and he just doesn’t really care that much about that stuff,” said Pace coach Tom Duffin. “He’s a warrior, he’s all about winning and that’s what he did for us all day long and has done that all year long for us.

“He’s been in big games for so long, between McCarthy and all of the travel ball teams, the young man knows all about big games and big moments so today was just like no big deal for him.”

Carmona was locked in a classic pitcher’s duel with Mater Lakes starter Rudy Gomez who as pretty tough most of the day himself as the game was scoreless through five. But Gomez hit Robert Moya to lead off the last of the sixth and Carmona stepped up and helped himself with a perfect sacrifice bunt to put pinch runner Sean Ambrose in scoring position at second.

After Gomez struck out Michael Machin, Victor Mederos turned out to be the offensive hero of the day when he drilled a 2-2 curve into left-center field scoring Ambrose giving Carmona the only run he needed.

<bullet>Region 3-9a semifinal: Stoneman Douglas 1, Flanagan 0: Douglas pitcher Connor Brian didn’t get much offense out of his teammates. But he didn’t need much.

That’s because Brian virtually “stoned” a team that’s not easy to stone when he fired a 2-hit shutout at nationally-ranked Flanagan to lead the Eagles to a 1-0 victory in a Region 3-9A semifinal at Stoneman Douglas High School.

Douglas (19-6) will travel north to take on Jupiter in a Region 3-9A final on May 22 at 7 p.m., a field the Eagles won on two years ago in the very same round on their way to a state and national championship. Flanagan finished 25-2.

A lot of adrenaline out there today for me because I had really been looking for to this game,” said Brian, a senior who finished with nine strikeouts and is committed to Middle Tennessee State. “We always know that these are two great programs and it usually comes down to us or Flanagan in the playoffs. We either go forward or we don’t so it feels great to be moving forward.”

“I’m almost speechless,” said Douglas coach Todd Fitz-Gerald. “Watching that kid out there on that mound today to see what he did against a great team like Flanagan was amazing to watch and speaks to his preparation and determination. The way he was pitching, we just needed one run, that was the goal. Franky was just as tough out there today, and to be honest, nobody deserved to lose this game.”

Fitz-Gerald referred to Flanagan starter Frank Gonzalez who was almost as brilliant as Brian, as he gave up just three hits while striking out seven. But unfortunately two of the three hits he gave up were back-to-back doubles by John Rodriguez and Colin Flynn in the bottom of the second that scored the game’s only run.