Posted: 4:02 pm Monday, May 23rd, 2011
By Matt Porter
PORT ST. LUCIE – Park Vista came from behind but couldn’t stay ahead of Tampa-Alonso and ace Jose Fernandez. The Alonso right-hander pitched one of his worst games of the season, but hit a two-run, go-ahed homer in the top of the seventh inning to lift the Ravens (22-5) to tomorrow’s Class 6A state final against Deltona High. Park Vista finishes at 22-8. See below for a live play-by-play of the game.
Welcome to Digital Domain Park, spring training home of the New York Mets and site of the FHSAA baseball state finals. We’ll be providing updates from today’s Class 6A semifinal between visiting Tampa-Alonso and Park Vista.
First pitch is set for about 5:00 p.m. We’ll have starting lineups, pitchers and other pregame notes in a bit.
Before that, check out today’s story on Park Vista, which has overcome injuries to its top two pitchers and some struggles at the plate to reach its third state tournament in four seasons. If it wins today, Park Vista can pull one step closer to completing the Palm Beach County trifecta – West Boca won the Class 5A title Saturday, and Summit Christian won the Class 1A crown Thursday. The winner of today’s game faces Deltona, which beat Hialeah 2-1 in today’s early semifinal, tomorrow at 7:05 in the 6A state title game.
It won’t be easy for the Cobras. Today they’ll face a legitimate power pitcher in Alonso right-hander Jose Fernandez, a 6-foot-3, 215-pounder who brings high-90s heat and a sharp slider. Park Vista has outscored opponents 23-10 in its three regional tournament wins, but smart money says run totals will be low today.
Park Vista will send Ryan Pistey to the mound. He’s unbeaten since returning from Tommy John surgery that shelved him last season. He’s pitched the Cobras both into the regionals and into the state tournament
Here are the starting lineups:
No. Pos – Name – # – Yr., Ht., Bats/Throws, Avg.
1. SS – Matt Brandy – 6 – Sr., 6-0, R/R, .393
2. 3B – Juan Bracamonte – 4 – Jr., 5-7, L/R, .394
3. C – Michael Fahrman – 5 – Sr., 6-1, R/R, .393
4. P – Jose Fernandez – 16 – Sr., 6-3, R/R, .382
5. 2B – Chris Meija – 27 – Sr., 6-2, R/R, .373
6. LF – Dylan Gross – 21 – N/A, N/A, N/A, N/A
7. CF – Ryan Valdes – 3 – Jr., 6-0, R/R, .359
8. 1B – Chris Chism – 14 – Sr., 6-1, R/R, .302
9. RF – Ronnie Cannon – 15 – Sr., 5-9, R/R, .259
RHP – Fernandez (8-1, 91 SO, 15 BB, 31 H in N/A innings)
Park Vista (23-7)
1. SS – Trea Turner – 3 – Sr., 6-1, R/R, .456
2. 3B – Tyler Kendall – 6 – Jr., 6-0, R/R, .333
3. C – Robbie Coman – 25 – Jr., 6-1, R/R, .361
4. CF – Trey Amburgey – 15 – Soph., 6-2, R/R, .391
5. 1B – Alec Saikal – 24 – Sr., 6-7, R/R, .324
6. DH – Abe Nasser – 9 – Jr., 6-0, R/R, .364
— (RF – Dylan Gable – 14 – Soph., 5-9, L/L, .320)
7. 2B – Brett Lashley – 12 – Jr., 5-10, R/R, .197
8. P – Ryan Pistey – 8 – Sr., 5-10, R/R, .278
9. LF – Chris Wurster – 11 – Jr., 6-0, R/R, .353
RHP – Pistey (5-0, 2.37, 24 SO, 9 BB, 35 H in 38.1 innings)
Nice night for baseball – 82 degrees, partly cloudy with breezes blowing in (eastward) at 9 mph. Alonso is in white pants, navy tops and white caps with navy bills. Park Vista is in grey pants, blue tops and grey caps with blue brims.
Pistey’s first pitch to Brandy is taken for strike. Brandy chops the 1-1 offering over Kendall’s head at third. Bracamonte singles to left. Coman visits the mound. Alonso pulls a bunt-and-run, which Pistey fields. Lashley and Saikal get crossed up on first-base coverage, and Pistey’s throw goes into right field, scoring Brandy and putting Fahrman at second. Fernandez singles under the glove of a diving Kendall, scoring Bracamonte, and Fahrman when Wurster bobbles the ball in left. Mejia bunts Fernandez to second. Gross strikes out swinging. Valdes flies out to right. 3-3-2, 1 LOB, 3-0 Alonso
Fernandez bringing high-90s heat. He cracks Turner’s bat on a line-drive foul. Turner lines a 3-2 fastball in the right-center gap and dives into third. Kendall struck out swinging. Coman hits a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Turner from third. Amburgey grounds to second. Fernandez throwing gas, but he’s a little up and outside the zone at times. 1-1-0, 0 LOB, 3-1 Alonso
Chism grounds to second. Cannon thrown out at first by Pistey on a bunt attempt. Brandy hacks an 0-1 pitch into left for a single. Bracamonte hits a soft liner to right. 0-1-0, 1 LOB, 3-1 Alonso
Saikal grazed by Fernandez’ first offering, a medium-high fastball. Nasser bunts Saikal to second. Lashley slaps a fastball past a diving Chism at first. Fernandez with a strong move to first, trying to pick off Lashley. Pistey pops out just inside the right-field line. Wurster chops a single over the lead of Chism at first, scoring Saikal and letting Lashley move from first to third. Wurster steals second, no throw. Turner flied to center, which should have been the third out of the inning, but a sliding Valdes, the center fielder, saw the ball pop out of his glove as he attempted to make a sliding catch. Lashley and Wurster scored, Turner to second. Kendall struck out swinging. 3-2-1, 1 LOB, 4-3 Park Vista
Fahrman walked on four pitches. Fernandez struck out swinging. Mejia struck out, with Coman throwing to second for the force on Fahrman. Strike-’em-out, throw-’em-out. 0-0-0, 1 LOB, 4-3 Park Vista
Coman hit a soft flare to second for the first out. Amburgey hit a high chop to third and beat the throw for an infield single. Saikal singled up the middle. Nasser flied to short right. Lashley takes a ball and fouls off four pitches – with Fernandez throwing this heat, it is not a safe day in to be in the stands – and finally strikes out swinging. 0-1-0, 1 LOB, 4-3 Park Vista
Gross struck out. Valdes flied to right. Chism struck out looking. Great inning for Pistey. 0-0-0, 0 LOB, 4-3 Park Vista
Pistey reached on an error at second. Wurster struck out looking, Pistey was caught stealing. Turner flied to left, with Gross making a sliding catch. 0-0-1, 0 LOB, 4-3 Park Vista
Cannon grounded to third. Brandy singled, his third of the game (3-3). Bracamante singed up the middle, Brandy to third. Bracamante stole second, no throw. Pistey needed to not bounce one to the backstop. He threw high and walked Fahrman to load the bases. Park Vista infield and pitching coach meeting at the mound. Park Vista right-hander Keaton Ijams and lefty Brandon Rhodes warming in the bullpen. Pistey throws one in the dirt, it gets behind Coman, who recovers but can’t tag Brandy, who scored the tying run. Fernandez intentionally walked, reloading the bases. Mejia hit a hot shot to Turner, who turned a 6-4-3, inning ending double play. Pistey escapes the jam thanks to solid defense. Tie ballgame, but could have been worse. 1-2-0, 2 LOB, 4-4
Kendall hit a one-hopper off the left shoulder of third baseman Bracamante, who was shaken up. Kendall stole second. Kendall stole third, sliding in under a very close tag, as Coman walked. Amburgey hit a sac fly to right, scoring Kendall. With Park Vista retaking the lead, Coman, the closer, is pinch-run for and heads to warm up. Saikal singled off the glove of the shortstop Brandy. Nasser flied to center. Lashley flied to right. Park Vista battles back thanks to more aggressive baserunning and hard contact. 1-2-0, 2 LOB, 5-4 Park Vista
Coman pitching for Park Vista. Gross singles up the middle. Valdes flies to deep right. Gross steals second, beating a throw from new catcher Abe Nasser. Chism strikes out swinging. Pinch-hitter Wyatt Reid, a freshman, flies to Amburgey in center. Park Vista is three outs away from the Class 6A state final. 0-1-0, 1 LOB, 5-4 Park Vista
Pistey’s soft liner drops into center for a single. Wurster reaches on a fielder’s choice, with pitcher Fernandez electing to nab Pistey at second. Turner hits another base-hit chopper to third for a single. That high bouncer over the third baseman’s head has been the Cobras’ bread-and-butter. Kendall strikes out. Wurster and Turner pull a double steal, with Wurster sliding past the bag and quickly sneaking back. Coman grounds in the hole to second, and second baseman Mejia makes the throw. 0-2-0, 2 LOB, 5-4 Park Vista
Brandy hits a double to the wall. He’s 4-4. Bracamante hits one just inside the third-base line, sending Brandy to third. When Brandy sees just how far Bracamante’s hit went, he scores to tie the game. Brandy goes to second. Nasser blocks a Coman pitch too far in front of him, allowing Brandy to scoot to third. Fahrman strikes out. Fernandez tags a two-run homer to left, putting the Ravens ahead 7-5. Fernandez scores, stands in front of his dugout screaming for Alonso fans to get excited. Mejia grounds to third, with Kendall shooting a laser across the diamond for the putout. Pinch-hitter Austin Gonzalez, a sophomore, strikes outl; the damage was done by an RBI single from Bracamante and a two-run blast from Fernandez, who will try to finish the game himself. 2-3-0, 0 LOB, 7-5 Alonso
Fernandez, fresh off his two-run, go-ahead homer, will try to close the deal himself. He gets Amburgey to strike out. Saikal grounds out. Nasser grounds to third. 0-0-0, 0 LOB, 7-5 Alonso