breaking news

Investigators locate vehicle suspected in Boynton hit-and-run

Baseball: No. 5 American Heritage shuts down No. 8 Benjamin


Maybe experience is overrated.

Both fifth-ranked American Heritage (17-5) and No. 8 Benjamin (13-8) sent underclassmen to the mound in a baseball showdown Tuesday night, and both tossed gems in a 1-0 pitchers’ duel. The Stallions came out ahead, with their one first-inning run proving to be the night’s only score.

American Heritage freshman Ben Vespi has been dominant all season, entering Tuesday’s game with a 4-1 record in seven starts and a 0.39 ERA to go along with it. That ERA will drop even more, as he tossed five scoreless innings, giving up only three hits while striking out six and walking three.

“Ben’s a gamer,” Stallions coach Carm Mazza said. “He brings multiple pitches for strikes. He’s not scared to throw any pitch in any count. He just wants to be excellent and he’s doing a great job.”

Vespi rarely found himself in trouble, and when he did allow a runner into scoring position, he quickly worked out of jams. After five innings, Mazza turned to another freshman pitcher, Nelson Berkwich, to close out the game.

Berkwich dealt with tendinitis earlier the season, missing three weeks, but has made a few relief appearances since returning to the mound. Tuesday’s game may have been his best outing since coming back: The freshman got the save after pitching two scoreless innings and striking out five batters.

“He looked pretty darn good tonight,” Mazza said.

Judge pitched well, too, but he was on the wrong end of good base-running and bad defense. He walked Heritage’s leadoff hitter, catcher Nathan Zuckerman, who promptly stole second. Zuckerman stole third as well and scored on an errant throw, giving the Stallions the only run they needed.

“We’re not hitting great,” Mazza said, “so we’ve got to be aggressive and score some runs.”

The win clinched the No. 1 spot in the District 6-4A tournament for the Stallions, setting them up for a good opportunity to make it out of a tough district and into the regional playoffs.

“We want to go in on a good note, so we want to keep playing well, pitching very well,” Mazza said. “We want to keep playing good, hard baseball and finish strong.”

No. 3 Park Vista 7, Atlantic 0: Emanuel Fernandez pitched five shutout innings and Chase Ashby had three hits, including a double, as the Cobras (15-4) shut out the Eagles (12-10).

Palm Beach Central 7, John I. Leonard 0: Brandon Liberto was 3-for-4 with two singles, a triple and two runs scored, and Jonathan Fortunato added two singles and two RBIs as the Broncos (14-8) shut out the Lancers (6-13).

Cardinal Newman 6, St. Andrew’s 1: Shane struck out nine in six innings and also was 2-for-3 with two RBIs at the plate and Joseph Yupp was 2-for-3 with an RBI as the Crusaders (5-14) defeated the Scots in Boca Raton.

Spanish River 5, Boca Raton 2: Alex Pearson struck out six in five scoreless innings and Matt Dignoti had a hit and two RBIS as the Sharks (11-9) defeated the Bobcats.

Olympic Heights 9, Somerset Canyons 1: Aaron Weldy pitched a complete game with eight strikeouts and Brandon O’Bryant was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI as the Lions (6-11) handled the Cougars. Ryan Posner had a hit and two RBIs for Heights.

Lake Worth Christian 2, Glades Day 0: Oscar Ruiz was 1-for-3, but the host Gators (13-5) fell to the Defenders.

St. John Paul Academy 10, Oxbridge Academy 3: P.J. Cimo was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs and Harrison Polanin went 2-for-3 with an RBI as the Eagles handled the Thunderwolves in Boca Raton.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

ESPN’s Todd McShay says Orlando Brown will still go in first two rounds of NFL Draft
ESPN’s Todd McShay says Orlando Brown will still go in first two rounds of NFL Draft

Orlando Brown’s draft stock plunged after his ghastly NFL Combine performance. The former Oklahoma tackle still has a shot at going in the first or second round, however, according to ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay. “You talk to one team and he just doesn’t fit the numbers,” McShay said of Brown during a conference...
On the Beat: Iowa’s spring practice often elevates players into celebrities
On the Beat: Iowa’s spring practice often elevates players into celebrities

IOWA CITY, Iowa — A year ago at this time, Iowa’s free safety spot was a concern to just about everyone who followed the program. Returning starter Brandon Snyder suffered a torn ACL in an early spring practice and the Hawkeyes were limited behind him. The two athletes vying to replace Snyder were junior Jake Gervase and sophomore...
Jim Harbaugh may conquer Italy and France, but Michigan fans want him to conquer Columbus
Jim Harbaugh may conquer Italy and France, but Michigan fans want him to conquer Columbus

On the Beat: Ohio State hasn’t talked about offensive line like this in a long time
On the Beat: Ohio State hasn’t talked about offensive line like this in a long time

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Maybe this won’t wind up being the best Ohio State offensive line of the Urban Meyer Era. But it’s definitely going to be the deepest, and there really doesn’t seem to be much risk in making that claim even with months to go until training camp. The standard for the Buckeyes and their...
Michigan’s European ‘antics’ a welcome distraction compared to what happens at other schools
Michigan’s European ‘antics’ a welcome distraction compared to what happens at other schools

More Stories