Winning is good, but pizza parties are better.
Trinity Christian coach Miguel Cuello inaugurated a new motivational technique Thursday night. He put up a chart, and for each little thing the Warriors execute correctly — like driving in a runner from third base or completing a successful hit-and-run — the team gets a check mark. Ten check marks means a team pizza party.
“Now, every time I give a sign, everybody knows, so they’re like, ‘Oh my God, this is another one,’ ” Cuello said. “So when they get it, they’re like, ‘Coach, check it out.’ ”
The seventh-ranked Warriors (11-5) earned two checks Thursday night in a run-ruled 10-0 victory over district rival Lake Worth Christian at the Santaluces Athletic Complex. They may not have earned the pizza party yet, but the victory does put them in sole possession of first place in District 7-2A.
“I told them we have to do this in the districts,” Cuello said. “Sometimes the games are not won by a lot of runs. It’s these little things that are going to win you games.”
The Warriors did the little things and the big things well against the Defenders. They collected 12 hits, four for extra bases. The biggest one came in the fourth inning when Florida International commit Angel Tiburcio launched a two-run home run over the left-field fence — his third of the season.
“He had to adjust after (his first) two at-bats; he hit two fly balls,” Cuello said. “I said just stay back, sit back and use your hands and that’s it. He’s a big kid, so we look forward to him being a big part of this lineup.”
When Tiburcio, the No. 3 hitter, came up, he often had men on base ahead of him. Shortstop Kaeber Rog, also a Florida International commit, was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, and leadoff hitter Jorge Zambrano was 3-for-4.
Zambrano also was dominant on the mound, tossing five scoreless innings, giving up only three hits while striking out seven.
“If you start good, you always want to end good, you always feel good,” he said. “If you start bad, then you try to change your mind and try to change your approach on everything, so starting good means that you feel good throughout the rest of the game. It’s a big part of how you play.”
No. 3 Wellington 9, John I. Leonard 1: Luke Panakos and Dylan Tosto each had two hits and Christian Vazquez had two RBIs as the Wolverines (10-4) handled the Lancers.