Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

State baseball: Fourth-inning fizzle downs East Lake

FORT MYERS — Throughout its run to the Class 7A state final, East Lake managed to get timely base hits and avoid big innings. That pattern ended Saturday night against Hialeah American.

East Lake gave up four fourth-inning runs and could not dig out of the hole in an eventual 5-2 loss at JetBlue Park. This was the second time East Lake has finished second in the state tournament; it also happened in 2002. This is American's first state championship in baseball.

"The fourth inning got away from us a little bit," East Lake coach Dan Genna said. "(Starting pitcher) Ryan (Wall) went through the order no problem the first time around and then he gave up some hits. In high school baseball, 80 percent of the time the team with that big inning is going to win it."

Wall cruised through the first three innings but things fell apart in the fourth. East Lake looked like it might avoid trouble when Keegan Maronpot threw out Kevin Williams at third base for the inning's first out. Willliams reached second on a misplayed line drive to rightfield. But after an Eric Gonzalez stolen base, Romy Gonzalez doubled to leftfield for the game's first run. It was also the first hit of the game for the Patriots.

Steven Alvarez then singled in Romy Gonzalez to make it 2-0. One out and one walk later, Jake Norman doubled off the leftfield wall to make it 4-0. Wall was pulled and Riley Choate came in to get the final out.

Wall pitched 3.2 innings and allowed three hits and four runs.

"After we got that first out (in the fourth) I thought we had a chance to get out of it," Maronpot said. "I always think we have a chance. We're that kind of team."

American (28-6) tacked on to its lead in the fifth inning. Romy Gonzalez got a two-out single off reliever Cameron Churchill that drove in Edison Cabrera to make it 5-0.

East Lake (22-10) made some noise in the sixth and seventh innings. Christian James and Brad Deppermann were both hit by pitches in the sixth, which put runners on first and second with one out. Ian Lisle, who had three hits, singled past second base to score James. Deppermann then scored on a wild pitch by Alex Blanco to make it 5-2.

Blanco was removed after striking out Maronpot for the second out. Andy Figueroa relieved, and his first pitch to Nick DeSantis was popped to first base to end the inning.

In the seventh, Sawyer Wirth led off with a walk. One out later, Churchill singled up the middle to put runners on first and second. But Christian James struck out for the second out and Andrew Prozzillo flew out to second base to end the game.

"I honestly thought we had a chance to come back," Lisle said. "We've done it all year. But things just didn't fall in place for us."

During its run to the final, East Lake played four extra-inning games, including 13 innings Friday night in the semifinal against Kissimmee Osceola. Genna said he was hoping his team had one last comeback in it.

"We've been through so many of these battles this season," Genna said. "They fought, which what they know how to do. I was actually hoping it would go extra innings. We're 5-0 in extra innings this season. But, hey, one more hit our way and it's a different game."

Rodney Page can be reached at page@tampabay.com or on Twitter @RodneyHomeTeam.

.fast facts

State semifinal

Class 5A: Jesuit vs.

Sunlake, 4 p.m.

When/where: Wednesday; JetBlue Park, Fort Myers

Admission: $9 per day; parking is $8.

TV: Finals, BHSN

State baseball: Fourth-inning fizzle downs East Lake 05/17/14 [Last modified: Saturday, May 17, 2014 10:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Timmy Claus is coming to town

    Blogs

    The circus is coming to town.

    Well, close enough.

    Timmy the Tebow is coming to Tampa Bay.

    It’s true. At least it could be. St. Timothy has been promoted by the New York Mets to high Class-A Port St. Lucie. If he stays promoted, Tebow should be in Tampa Bay for eight games beginning August 10 …

    Coming soon: Tim Tebow will hit Tampa Bay in August.
  2. Ranking Malik Zaire among 2017's top transfer quarterbacks

    Blogs

    The Florida Gators' Malik Zaire is among many transfers who could become starters at their new school. Here's how he stacks up in our rankings of top transfer quarterbacks:

  3. Lightning re-sign Yanni Gourde to two-year, one-way deal

    Blogs

    Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fightning to stay in pro hockey.

    Yanni Gourde seized his moment with six goals in 20 games as a callup last season.
  4. Next up in Bucs renovations? A $20 million indoor practice facility

    Bucs

    Renderings of the Bucs' new indoor practice facility (Courtesy of the Bucs)
  5. Lightning re-signs Andrej Sustr to one-year, $1.95 million deal

    Blogs

    The Lightning locked up another piece of its blueline Monday, re-signing defenseman Andrej Sustr to a one-year, $1.95 million deal.

    Andrej Sustr 14 points in 80 games last season, a minus-10.