Aesthetically pleasing, it was not.
Second-ranked Palm Beach Gardens and third-ranked Palm Beach Central combined for nearly as many errors (nine) as they did hits (13) in Tuesday’s District 9-8 semifinal. But the other numbers on the scoreboard — a 5-2 final score — looked just beautiful to Gardens.
“You don’t like to see the errors, but you do like to see the team overcome them if they happen,” said Gators coach Joe Russo, whose team committed four.
Gardens (19-7) will face the winner of today’s matchup between Dwyer and Jupiter in Friday’s district championship. The Broncos (15-8) will try to clear their heads after an ugly end to their season.
“I can’t remember us winning a game while making that many errors,” Palm Beach Central coach Scott Benedict said. “I shoulder the blame for that. I should have had them better prepared.”
The first four runs of the game were the result of throwing errors. Central went ahead 2-0 in the second after Ian Hagenmiller reached on an error and scored on another, and Kyle Perkins scored on a third error. In the third, Gardens tied it after Caleb Perez reached on an error and scored on a Hunter Sanicky RBI single, and Nick Gallo scored on another throwing error.
In the fourth, successive singles from the 6-7-8 batters loaded the bases for No. 9 man Sanicky (2-for-3, two RBIs), who punched a go-ahead RBI single to center. A Matt Williams sacrifice fly and Sendle Jean RBI single — set up by two more Broncos errors — made it 5-2 in the fifth.
The pitching, at least, was relatively clean. Gardens senior Riley Colbath allowed five hits and two unearned runs in five-plus innings, striking out six and walking none. Williams got the save with two scoreless innings.
Central senior John Padich went five innings, allowing eight hits and five runs (two earned), with a walk and a strikeout. Junior Shane Sawczak pitched a scoreless sixth.
No. 9 Park Vista 9, Spanish River 2: Tyler Huggins was 1-for-2 with four RBIs as the top-seeded Cobras (18-6) handled the fourth-seeded Sharks in Greenacres. Austin Smith pitched a four-hitter and drove in two runs for Vista, which advances to Thursday’s championship against Seminole Ridge. Ryan Berger was 2-for-3 with a double for Spanish River.
Seminole Ridge 5, John I. Leonard 4: The second-seeded Hawks edged the third-seeded Lancers in Greenacres.
No. 6 Atlantic 10, Olympic Heights 0: Brad Myott gave up one hit and struck out four in six innings as the Eagles (19-7) shut down the Lions (10-15) in Boca Raton. Atlantic advances to face West Boca Raton in Thursday’s championship game.
No. 8 West Boca Raton 11, Lake Worth 1: Kobe Pepia was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and Sean Kuchta went 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs as the Bulls (17-6) routed the Trojans (3-21) in Boca Raton.
South Fork 5, Port St. Lucie 2: Nick Snyder and Dillon Mahwinney each were 3-for-3 as the second-seeded Bulldogs (14-10) defeated the third-seed Jaguars (15-7) in Okeechobee. Jason Popovich was 2-for-4 and pitched a three-hitter for South Fork, which will play Sebastian River in Thursday’s championship.
Suncoast 3, Fort Pierce Westwood 0: Braden Hartigan pitched a one-hitter with six strikeouts and Carson Morris hit a two-run home run as the second-seeded Chargers (13-8) shut down the third-seeded Panthers in Jensen Beach. Suncoast advanced to face Jensen Beach in Thursday’s championship.
Jensen Beach 17, Boynton Beach 0: The top-seeded Falcons rolled over the fourth-seeded Tigers in Jensen Beach.
Cardinal Newman 7, St. Andrew’s 0: Tyler Krull pitched a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts as the Crusaders (18-8) shut down the Scots in West Palm Beach. Kyle Cunningham was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored for Newman, which will face Lincoln Park Academy in Thursday’s championship at Lawnwood Stadium in Fort Pierce.
Pope John Paul II 3, Summit Christian 2: The second-seeded Eagles edged the third-seeded Saints in Delray Beach. Pope advances to face American Heritage in Thursday’s championship.
King’s Academy 3, Jupiter Christian 1: James Vaughan gave up five hits and struck out two in five innings as the second-seeded Lions (14-12) defeated the third-seeded Eagles in Palm Beach Gardens. The Lions will face Benjamin in Thursday’s championship.
Glades Day 19, Wellington Christian 3: Thomas Corzo and Jonathan Leon each had two RBIs, leading the top-seeded Gators (16-5) to the rout of the fourth-seeded Eagles in Belle Glade. The Gators will face Lake Worth Christian in Thursday’s championship.
Lake Worth Christian 12, Boca Raton Christian 7: Scott Lucas and Dustin Lee each were 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored as the third-seeded Defenders beat the third-seeded Blazers in Boynton Beach. Jordan Marrs was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and earned the win on the mound.