Baseball: No. 3 Santaluces knocks off No. 2 Park Vista


When the Santaluces baseball team last beat Park Vista, the Chiefs’ current seniors were in third grade.

Santaluces hasn’t won a game against its nearby district rival since 2009. That is, until Friday.

The No. 3 Chiefs took down the No. 2 Cobras 4-2 in Lantana, earning temporary bragging rights and setting up a coin flip to decide the top seed in the district tournament.

[Santaluces assistant Gary Chanley retiring after 27-year career]

“It’s absolutely the most amazing feeling,” shortstop A.J. Orrico said. “They’re always the biggest game on our schedule. This is always the night we look forward to.”

The two teams were not separated by much.

Santaluces (19-2, 5-1 District 10-9A) started junior Jared Petronis, who entered Friday’s showdown having surrendered only one earned run all season. He allowed his second in the first inning Friday when Cobras second baseman Zach Hurley scored on a single by right fielder Chris Seymour.

But Petronis didn’t break. He gave up one more run in the fourth inning on a suicide-squeeze bunt, but he otherwise held the Cobras (14-5, 5-1) in check. He finished with a four-hitter, striking out five and walking four. He was rewarded with a cooler full of ice being dumped on him after the game.

“He doesn’t get rattled,” Santaluces coach Nick Franco said. “He’s got, like, ice in his veins.”

Petronis’ opponent was Park Vista’s Brendan Bell, a Florida Gulf Coast commit. Bell’s 88-92 m.p.h. fastball and sharp-breaking slider were effective at times, but the Chiefs wreaked havoc on the basepaths.

Center fielder M.J. Restivo got the Chiefs’ first hit in the first inning, stole third and scored when the catchers’ throw rolled to the outfield. Restivo drove in the second run, too, after designated hitter Michael Etchells stole second and the throw bounced off his helmet, allowing him to reach third and score on a Restivo single.

Right fielder Eathyn Little scored Santaluces’ third run after an error allowed him to reach base, moving up to second on a passed ball and later scoring on a wild pitch. Orrico scored the team’s final run after drawing a walk, stealing two bases and scoring on a sacrifice fly.

“There’s something different about this year’s team,” Franco said.

No. 1 Benjamin 10, Cardinal Newman 0: Kris Armstrong struck out six in three hitless innings and was 2-for-3 with an RBI, Matt Lopes was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two stolen bases and Aaron Steinhart went 2-for-2 with an RBI as the Buccaneers handled the Crusaders in West Palm Beach.

No. 9 Palm Beach Central 10, King’s Academy 0 (5): C.J. Kayfus, James Meyers and Michael Brooks combined on a no-hitter and Hal Francisco and Jason Neff each went 3-for-3 as the Broncos (14-7) stopped the Lions in Wellington.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Tennis players get ready to be put on the clock (visibly)
Tennis players get ready to be put on the clock (visibly)

The Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt can complete a 200 meters in the time it takes the Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal to start some of his points. Nadal will often take 20 seconds or more to deliver his first serves, owing to a ritual that includes bouncing the ball a few times, tugging at his shorts, pinching the fabric on his left shoulder, then...
With final Sunday, soccer haters are missing a riveting World Cup
With final Sunday, soccer haters are missing a riveting World Cup

There are two kinds of World Cup fans. Passionate soccer fans who love the game, who proudly wear their country’s crest, whose hearts pound with every kick of the ball. And those who just don’t get it yet. I thought I was the former back in 1994 when the World Cup came to the United States for the first time. I had played soccer since I...
Gullane Golf Club does not shrink from neighboring Muirfield
Gullane Golf Club does not shrink from neighboring Muirfield

With one of golf’s most historic clubs just down the street, a neighboring course might find it reasonably difficult to establish a significant profile. Gullane Golf Club, though, has long stood on its own accord. Featuring a picturesque panorama that arguably surpasses the august Muirfield, Gullane’s links have been romanticized by golf...
Ex-NFLer Elam’s 7-on-7 event provides opportunity for local players
Ex-NFLer Elam’s 7-on-7 event provides opportunity for local players

Years removed from his football career, former Cardinal Newman High and NFL standout Abram Elam is still fulfilling a lifelong dream. “I told myself whenever God gave me the opportunity to give back, that’s what I would do,” Elam said Friday at the second annual T.E.A.M. Elam 7-on-7 Championship. “I just hope these kids take...
Taggart bringing ‘Saturday Night Live’ to FSU

Typically at this point of the summer, diehard Florida State football fans are engaged in one of two countdowns — they’re either checking off the days until the Seminoles’ season opener, or they’re waiting impatiently for the start of preseason practice in August. This year, FSU fans have a third major football event to get...
More Stories