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Alonso, Riverview advance to Saladino semifinal

BRANDON — The top of Alonso's lineup — Jose Ciccarello, Ryan Drumheller and Jordan Butler — had been dynamite throughout this week's Saladino Tournament and in Thursday's quarterfinal they were at it once again.

When the dust settled after eight hard-fought innings against Newsome, Alonso's top three hitters had gone a combined 7-for-13 with three RBIs and three runs scored, which was about all the Ravens needed in their 4-3 victory.

It was Drumheller, in fact, who collected the winning hit, a line-drive single that sent home Jonathan Cruz, who was pinch running for Scott Meitzler, who smacked a towering double a few minutes earlier.

"It was a fastball and it looked fat," Drumheller said of the pitch that led to his winning hit. "I've felt pretty good all week."

Before Drumheller's final heroics, there was plenty of drama, including a two-out, two RBI single in the top of the seventh by Newsome's Auston Spires that put the Wolves up 3-2.

In the bottom of the seventh, Alonso (8-2) answered with the top of its lineup, and they executed perfectly: Ciccarello singled, Drumheller dropped a tidy sacrifice bunt and Butler followed with an RBI single.

Just like that, the game was tied 3-3.

Newsome (7-4) hung tough from that point when starter Will Ohme pitched out a bases-loaded jam with a strikeout and a simple ground-out to first base.

The Ravens' two pitchers, Franco Aleman (6 1/3 innings) and Jorge Oleaga, were equally effective, giving up just six total hits.

"We have some guys who can throw (in Friday's semifinal at 10 a.m. against Riverview)," Alonso coach Landy Faedo said. "I would say for this tournament (which requires a deep lineup of arms) we feel like we're in pretty good shape."

Riverview 2, Leto 1

Riverview senior Tyler Salomon is hot and getting hotter by the day.

Case in point was Thursday's Saladino quarterfinal where he stepped into the batter's box against Leto with two outs, runners on first and second and the score tied at one in bottom of the eighth inning.

Salomon promptly stroked a single to centerfield. Teammate Ben Migliarese raced around third base, cruised across home plate and kicked off a rather wild celebration.

Final score: Riverview 2, Leto 1.

"When I walked up to the plate I thought I was going to get a hit," Salomon said. "I've felt that way all year."

In four Saladino games, Salomon, who went 3-for-4 on Thursday, has collected nine hits, pushing his season average well over the .370 mark he held before the tournament started.

Salomon, by the way, also scored the Sharks' first run in the third inning after hitting a single, stealing second and scoring on Javier Rosario's single.

On the mound, Riverview's Freddy Tarnok and Reagan Jorgensen combined to throw four innings apiece, allowing a combined seven hits while striking out three.

For Leto, Christian Suarez pitched into the fifth inning before getting pulled with one out. Suarez allowed just one run as did his reliever, Felix Rosario, over the final three innings.

"I'm ecstatic with the way we're playing right now," said Leto coach J.J. Pizzio, whose team's overall record is 7-4. "We gave it everything we had today and I couldn't have asked for much more."

Riverview (8-2) is also flying high after reaching the Saladino semifinals for the second straight year.

"We have a group of nine seniors who have gotten close (to the Saladino final) but never quite gotten it done," Riverview coach Billy Leiby said. "Hopefully this will be the year."

Alonso, Riverview advance to Saladino semifinal 03/16/17 [Last modified: Thursday, March 16, 2017 9:41pm]
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