By: Matt Rothman
Led by three-time State Champion Todd Fitz-Gerald and several players from Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Coral Springs Charter, and J.P. Taravella, the Pokers played 11 games in five days and went 9-1-1. The Pokers came out of pool play as the 12 seed and won the Championship.
In their final four games, the Pokers outscored their opponents 29-11. They started by beating the Ontario Blue Jays before beating US Elite America and MVP Beast. In the final, the Pokers won 9-6 against X-Team, with University of Central Florida commit Alex Rodriguez winning the MVP. He went 3-4 in the final with a single and two doubles in the championship game.
“Winning the MVP was awesome,” said Rodriguez. “It means a lot knowing that I was able to help my team in so many different ways to win ballgames, but none of this could’ve been possible without the help of my teammates, coaches, and family.
The rest of their team consists of Ethan Askin, Niko Benestad, Reese Burton, Luke Cherry, Nick Diaz, Jayden Dubanewicz, Devin Fitz Gerald, Gavin Gargiulo, Bennett Gary, Rylan Lujo, Brayden McKluskey, and Christian Rodriguez.
“It’s always good when you get to coach your high school kids,” said Coach Fitz-Gerald. “It was a great tournament, and we played extremely well.”
Anthony Quigley and E.J. Burns represented J.P. Taravella, while Andrew Raucci and Aiden Tarshis played for Coral Springs Charter. The Pokers have other players on their team from North Broward Prep, Calvary Christian, Westminister, and American Heritage.
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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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