By: Matt Rothman
The two teams, who both rank in the top ten in Florida, faced off twice this season. In March, while the Trojans defeated the Eagles in the High School Baseball Invitational First Pitch Elite Tournament, MSD returned the favor in May by winning the District Championship.
JPT vs. Palmetto
While JPT had a better record than West Broward High School, the Trojans were on the road since Palmetto won their District Championship. After falling behind 1-0, JPT responded with 13 unanswered runs to pick up the 13-1 win. Aris Rivera and Johnathan Lopez drove in three runs, while Vincent Samuel knocked in two. Edgar Marquez and Jassiel Valbuena also had RBI’s while Ryan Meekins earned the win on the mound.
He pitched four innings, allowed one run, and struck out six before Chris Scinta, Brandon Metivier, and Derek Rodriguez combined to throw three hitless innings in relief. With the win, the Trojans moved to 21-5-1 this season.
Head Coach Giummule felt their experience playing in the Regional Final last year at Columbus and victories against the top teams in Dade, Broward, and the West Coast prepared them. However, they know they will need to play much better this time to beat MSD.
“We got a few guys back today, and the added depth definitely helped us,” Coach Giummule said. “I’m sure the boys will be excited to play Douglas again on Friday as we did not play well last week against them.”
MSD vs. West Broward
While MSD was the one top seed in the region, they faced an extremely tough test in their Regional Quarterfinal. They faced West Broward High School, which features the University of Miami commit Sebastian Perez. However, the Eagles had their own star on the mound in University of Florida commit, Christian Rodriguez.
Not only did he pick up the win, but he also had an RBI triple and two-run single to drive in three of the team’s eight runs.
“I just work on hitting and pitching every day as much as I can,” Rodriguez said. “I just bear down and grind to help my team out if they need me. I need to do my part.”
Chris Arroyo homered twice and drove in three runs. Jake Clemente had one RBI, and Roman Anthony recorded three hits and scored two runs. Rodriguez went 5.1 innings, allowed no earned runs, and struck out seven. Brandon White and Jacob Gomberg pitched in relief for the Eagles.
With the win, the Eagles improved to 26-2 this season and could surpass their win total of 28 from last season if they reach the State Final.
They will face off against JPT on Friday, May 13, at 6 p.m. in Parkland at Anthony Rizzo Field.
“I’m happy for J.P. Taravella that they moved on,” said Head Coach Todd Fitz-Gerald. “They’re our crosstown rival, and we are representing our city well. It’s lose and go home, so it’s going to be a dogfight, but I’m really happy with where we’re at right now.”
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- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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