The HSBN All American Weekend concluded with games played at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field on the University of Miami campus all throughout the day on Sunday. Following two Futures contests early in the day, the All American players took their turns in two evening contests.
With four rosters of 25 players all close to high school graduation and college competition, the games served as a great opportunity at the college playing experience while performing in front of fans, scouts and Hurricane coaches.
The Black Team A jumped to a lead early on and held it the rest of the way. The victors meshed well in all phases to deliver a solid overall performance for the fans and Hurricanes coaching staff in attendance. The Red team bounced back from some early struggles and battled within one run of tying things up late before running out of swings, providing exciting action on both sides all throughout.
South Broward’s Yordan Maldonado set the tone with a scoreless first inning that included two strikeouts for the Black team, and the offense responded with its first swings. Southwest Miami’s Danny Cruz reached on an error and then scored off an RBI double into the right field corner from Columbus’ Albert Espinosa, who then also came in thanks to an RBI single to right from Douglas’ Jacob Stanley.
An inning late the Black club pushed it to a 5-0 advantage, as the first three batters all reached base and scored. Douglas’ Jonathan Strauss sent a high chopper up the middle for a leadoff single, Western’s Weylin Cleri reached on a fielder’s choice and South Dade’s Willy Escala loaded the bases with a single through the left side. For Escala it is the first of what could be many career hits at this field, as the senior is committed to play for the Hurricanes after he graduates this year.
Solid execution with runners on base led to the first run of the inning, as Archbishop Carroll’s Rey Gonce got a grounder to the right side for a 4-3 RBI that plated Strauss. Monsignor Pace’s Alec Sierra followed with an RBI single to center and a throwing error allowed Escala to also score.
Douglas’ left-hander Brandon Kaminer struck out four over two scoreless innings that kept Team A in control, before the Red team got on the scoreboard in the fourth. Florida Christian’s Danny Vazquez reached on a single deep to the shortstop, advanced on a throwing error and then stole third base to get within ninety feet of the plate. Royal Palm Beach’s Tarik Latchmansingh exemplified his clutch-hitting with a sharp liner through the left side of the defense for an RBI single.
The Red team made it interesting again by narrowing the gap in the seventh. Doral Academy’s Brian Perez reached on an infield single, Miami Brito’s Onelio Perdomo and Danny Vazquez both singled to left to load the bases. Mater Academy’s Luis Diaz delivered a dagger with a shot deep to right field for a bases-clearing, three-run double that brought it to a 5-4 ball game.
Jacob Stanley provided exactly the response that the Black squad needed by striking out the side on just nine pitches in eighth inning. Monsignor Pace’s Alec Sierra surrendered a single to Miami Country Day’s Austin Pollack in the ninth, but managed to work around the threat to strike out a pair and end the contest.
The Black team added one last run in the eighth. St. John Paul II’s PJ Cimo lined a shot just past the outfielder and showed off some nice base running awareness to race around the bags for a standup triple. A wild pitch then allowed Cimo to come in for the final run of the game.
The Red pitching staff delivered a gutsy performance, as three pitchers combined to split the time on the mound. Atlantic’s Maxwell Charnin struck out four in three innings, South Dade’s Jimmy Galvis struck out three in three scoreless innings and Onelio Perdomo recorded two strikeouts over two innings.
A two-run fourth inning combined with strong pitching performances led the Gold Team D to a 3-1 victory over the NAVY Team C in Sunday night’s finale.
With hits at a premium against a seemingly endless stream of talented arms, the Gold club scored a pair of unearned runs to add to its early lead with the deciding margin. Varela’s Andres Artola and Archbishop McCarthy’s AJ Hendricks both reached on errors to start the top of the fourth inning, with Artola crossing the plate as Hendricks cruised into second base on a throwing error. Two batters later, John I. Leonard’s Angel Diaz singled to left field to drive in Hendricks for a 3-0 lead.
The Gold squad grabbed the lead right away in the first inning. Doral Academy’s Erick Orbeta reached on an error and then came home thanks to an RBI double from Santaluces’ MJ Restivo that split the left-center field gap. Team D held the lead the rest of the way, even despite low offensive production that saw only one more hit on a bunt single from Orbeta in the fifth.
Palmetto’s Matthew Turner set the tone on the mound for the Gold, throwing two scoreless innings and striking out five batters while throwing 16 of 22 pitches for strikes. Tuner’s only base runner allowed came on an error leading off the second, and he managed to work around the threat to keep the Navy team off the scoreboard.
Team C ended the shutout in the fifth. Belen Jesuit’s Humberto Torres doubled into the left field corner and Westminster Christian’s Devin Roche drove him in with an RBI double to right field. That was as close as they got as Gulliver Prep’s Adrian Del Castillo single in the eighth was the Navy team’s only other base runner the rest of the way.
Cypress Bay’s Jake Walker helped keep the Gold staff sizzling hot by striking out the side in the fourth. John I. Leonard’s Angel Diaz, MJ Restivo and Somerset Charter Academy’s Edsel Vichot all tossed perfect 1-2-3 innings, Monsignor Pace’s Brandon Cruz added a scoreless frame and Archbishop McCarthy’s Adam Tulloch and West Boca’s Alex Cordero both had two strikeouts in their respective inning of work.
The Navy team also received outstanding pitching that was hurt by three unearned runs. Six different hurlers threw perfect frames, including iMater’s James Montoya, Suncoast’s Tyler Lavery, Lakewood Ranch’s Devin Wall, Mater Academy’s Joe Soto, Fort Lauderdale’s Argelio Morejon and South Dade’s Ricardo Sobalvarro. The staff recorded 13 consecutive outs to end the game and give the offense a chance to respond, starting from Nova’s Trace Moore recording a strikeout to end the fifth and culminating with Sobalvarro punching out the final batter in the top of the ninth.