Lanoce hurls Benjamin into state semis; Weather halts Central-Jupiter


Paul Lanoce’s pitches were electric, as was the air around him.

The Benjamin pitcher allowed only three hits over five innings as his outing was cut short by a lightning delay. That didn’t stop the Buccaneers from shutting out American Heritage 3-0 on Tuesday and advancing to the state semifinals for the first time in program history.

“It’s funny; I kind of saw this day right in the beginning of the season,” first-year coach Jack Armstrong said. “Even though it started off a little bit tough, we had all the talent, we had the pitching depth. It was just a matter of bringing it all together, playing as a team and (getting) the right mojo going.”

Meanwhile, Palm Beach Central and Jupiter will have to wait at least one more day to see who wins Round 4. Their regional semifinal matchup was suspended Tuesday night due to lightning. The game will resume at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Before storms forced the teams off the field, the Warriors led 4-0 behind strong pitching from junior Jake Garland and a two-run double by senior Dakota Gaillard.

Tuesday’s regional final between Benjamin and American Heritage also was the fourth matchup between the district foes — they split their two regular-season games, and the Buccaneers won their showdown with the Stallions in the district title game.

Armstrong chose to go with Lanoce instead of his ace, Kris Armstrong, who pitched a five-inning perfect game against Cape Coral-Oasis last week.

“The other team was surprised I was pitching him; a lot of people were,” Jack Armstrong said. “But he’s actually leading our team in ERA, and it wasn’t accidental. He doesn’t throw overly hard, but he’s very deceptive.

“And I said, you know, this is just the right guy here to eat up a few innings and get the game going in the right direction. Didn’t expect him to go five shutout, but that’s one of those things where you just kind of roll with it.”

Lanoce got three early runs behind him, with star center fielder Isaiah Thomas scoring on a sacrifice fly to shallow right field in the first inning, Matt Lopes scoring on a wild pitch in the second inning and Aaron Steinhart driving in Kris Armstrong in the third.

After the lightning delay forced Lanoce out of the game, junior Tyler Judge came in to relieve him. The 6-foot right-hander tossed two scoreless frames to get the save, and the Buccaneers dog-piled in the infield.

“We were ready to go,” Jack Armstrong said, “and we’re locked and loaded, fully loaded, for states.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Dolphins DT Akeem Spence eager to face former Lions teammates
Dolphins DT Akeem Spence eager to face former Lions teammates

Defensive tackle Akeem Spence planned on being with the Lions a lot longer than one season, but he got shipped out shortly after new coach Matt Patricia came aboard. Detroit offered him to the Dolphins for next to nothing, and he appears to be a good fit. Spence landed in a situation where he’s playing comfortably in a 4-3 (Patricia uses a 3-4)...
Turnover-hungry Dolphins defense awaits Lions QB Matthew Stafford
Turnover-hungry Dolphins defense awaits Lions QB Matthew Stafford

Over the last five years, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has thrown 50 interceptions, been sacked 182 times and had 29 fumbles. That sounds enticing to a Dolphins defense that ranks third in the NFL in takeaways. Stafford has been one of the most highly debated quarterbacks in the league during his 10 seasons with Detroit and he throws the ball...
Ryan Tannehill out Sunday, amid NFL review of Miami Dolphins’ injury reporting
Ryan Tannehill out Sunday, amid NFL review of Miami Dolphins’ injury reporting

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Lions by coach Adam Gase on Wednesday, as the NFL is reviewing the Dolphins’ injury reporting, a source confirmed. Last week, the Dolphins listed Tannehill as a full participant on Wednesday and Thursday, to limited on Friday, to out on Sunday, due to a shoulder injury...
What Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase just said after Wednesday practice
What Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase just said after Wednesday practice

Here is some of what Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase said Wednesday: • Ryan Tannehill is OUT on Sunday. He did not throw today. We’re working on pocket movements and footwork. He just can’t throw. • We don’t know if Tannehill will be able to return on a Thursday night at Houston. • It will be interesting to see how Cam...
Miami Dolphins practice report: QB Ryan Tannehill not throwing
Miami Dolphins practice report: QB Ryan Tannehill not throwing

The Dolphins had starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill on the practice field today, but he continues to rest his sore right shoulder in advance of Sunday’s home game against Detroit. Tannehill never raised his right arm above chest-level as he took snaps with the rest of the quarterbacks. He handed the ball off on running plays, but when the team...
More Stories