High School Sports

Marchena hoping to lead Gulliver to a state baseball title

If everything works out for Gulliver Prep second baseman Oscar Marchena, he will play a Class 4A state semifinal on Monday, win the championship on Tuesday and attend The Herald’s All-Dade breakfast on Wednesday.

That’s a full schedule for Marchena, but the senior with a 5.11 grade-point average and a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts is accustomed to multi-tasking.

"You have to be self-disciplined," said Marchena, who wants to become an engineer, following the path of his father and his brother, who will graduate from the University of Florida in December. "But the past couple of weeks have been a ride."

That ride includes walk-off wins in the regional semifinals and regional final. Shortstop Javy Valdez, a junior committed to the Miami Hurricanes, had the game-winning hit in the 2-1 semifinal win over St. Brendan. Marchena had the walk-off hit in a 6-5 win over Calvary Christian.

Then again, close wins are nothing new for Gulliver (23-6), which is 6-4 in one-run games and 4-1 in two-run games.

More close games are possible on Monday, when Gulliver plays Fort Myers’ Bishop Verot (23-6). The other semifinal will feature Jacksonville’s Trinity Christian (20-8) vs. South Sumter (20-6).

The title game is set for Tuesday night at 7:30.

Senior Evan Kravetz, a left-hander who is 4-1 with a 1.48 ERA, is expected to start Monday for Gulliver. The 6-7, 210-pounder is drawing recruiting interest from Rice and Miami.

If the Raiders advance, they would likely throw a senior right-hander on Tuesday, either Amherst signee Davis Brown (5-0, 0.39 ERA) or St. Thomas signee Michael Gonzalez (8-0, 1.69 ERA).

Gulliver, which won its lone state title in 2004, has advanced this far for the first time since 2010, when the Raiders lost in the final to Jacksonville Bolles.

IF YOU GO

What: The state baseball championships.

When: Monday through Thursday.

Where: jetBlue Park, 11500 Fenway South Drive, Fort Myers.

Admission: $9 per day; Parking: $10 for cars, $50 for fan buses.

Saturday’s results – Class 5A final: Archbishop McCarthy 3, Lynn Haven Mosley 0; Class 6A final: Venice 5, St. Johns Bartram Trail 0.

Monday’s schedule – Class 3A semifinals: Tallahassee North Florida Christian vs. Spring Hill Bishop McLaughlin, 10 a.m.; Westminster Christian vs. Fort Myers Canterbury, 1; Class 4A semifinals: Gulliver vs. Fort Myers Bishop Verot, 4; Jacksonville Trinity Christian vs. Bushnell South Sumter, 7.

Tuesday’s schedule – Class 3A final: 4:05; Class 4A final: 7:35.

Wednesday’s schedule – Class 7A semifinals: Plant City Durant vs. Oviedo, 10 a.m.; Royal Palm Beach vs. Sarasota, 1; Class 8A semifinals: Columbus vs. Lake Worth Park Vista, 4; Orange City University vs. Orlando Timber Creek, 7.

Thursday’s schedule – Class 7A final: 4:05; Class 8A final: 7:35.

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