By: Matt Rothman
Marjory Stoneman Douglas baseball is officially on their way to the Regional Final following their wild win over J.P. Taravella on Friday night.
“These guys battled,” said Head Coach Todd Fitz-Gerald. “I couldn’t be more proud of them. It has been a dogfight. Now we were really tested, so maybe that gives us another jump to give us three more.”
This was the third meeting of the season between these two teams. The Trojans won High School Baseball Invitational First Pitch Elite Tournament before MSD returned the favor in May by winning the District Championship.
J.P. Taravella scratched out an early run in the first off Jake Clemente. The Trojans appeared to have taken a 2-0 lead, but Matt Rubin was called and out for an illegal bat. The Eagles then tied the game on a long home run from Santiago Ordonez before the game was halted for a rain delay.
“I was trying to hit a line drive in the gap,” said Ordonez. “He was throwing outside, and I saw it coming. I turned my hands, and I got a good barrel on it.”
When play resumed, Chris Arroyo came out of the bullpen and recorded a two-run double in the fifth to give the Eagles a 3-1 lead. JPT got one back in the sixth after a pair of errors and a wild pitch, but Arroyo closed the game out to earn the win in front of over 1,100 fans.
“You got to love the atmosphere,” Arroyo said. “This is what I was made for. I was born for this.”
The Eagles picked up win number 27 while the Trojans finished a historic season with a record of 21-6-1. Despite the loss, Head Coach Joe Giummule only had good things to say about his team.
“I had a lot of these guys for four years,” said Coach Giummule. “They put us non the map and made us a nationally ranked team. The guys put us in a position to beat the best team in the country like we did earlier this year. “
Next, MSD will look for their second straight Regional Championship on Tuesday, May 17, against Christopher Columbus High School. The Explorers are coming off an 11-0 win against Western High School and have a record of 22-6. In their lone meeting this season, MSD defeated Columbus 8-1 on April 1. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Anthony Rizzo Field in Parkland.
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- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism and then graduated from the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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