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Friday's heroes

KENNY PEREZ, South Miami: The switch-hitting senior shortstop was the catalyst for the Cobras' 6-4 upset of West Palm Beach Wellington, going 3-for-4 with a triple and three runs.

HOWARD CUERVO, South Miami: The junior pitched 2 scoreless innings of relief to earn a save. He allowed two hits then retired the last seven batters he faced.

JUSTIN BARNES, Merritt Island: The junior gave up no runs on three hits while striking out seven in 6 innings of relief. He also scored the go-ahead run in the 10th inning.

JEFF HOWELL, Merritt Island: The junior catcher had three hits, scored two runs and drove in two. His 10th-inning double drove in the go-ahead run.

CHRIS REED, Orlando Colonial: The senior improved to 11-1 while allowing three earned runs in a complete-game win. He struck out seven.

JASON MILLER, Sarasota: The senior threw a complete-game four-hitter, striking out 11.

Today's finals


South Miami (22-10)

vs. Orlando Colonial (29-5), 7

THE SKINNY: One way or another, this classification will have a first-time state champion. Just as it was against West Palm Beach Wellington, Baseball America's No.

3-ranked team, South Miami is a decided underdog. The Cobras will pin their title hopes on the arm of Oyun Vega (4-3, 3.20), the team's No.

2 starter. As a team, South Miami hits .290. Colonial is expected to start Dennis Cavilla (9-3, 1.95 ERA), its ace for most of the season. The Grenadiers hit .330.


Merritt Island (29-4)

vs. Sarasota (27-7), 4

THE SKINNY: Sarasota is bidding for its sixth state title under longtime coach Clyde Metcalf, but it won't come easily. Merritt Island, the defending 5A state champ, is one of the best hitting teams in the state. Sarasota counters with a pitching staff that has a team 1.73 ERA and could be Florida's best. Look for the Sailors to give the ball to freshman James Houser (3-1, 1.52 ERA). Merritt Island has several mound options but probably will go with Kevin Deaton (12-1), who struggled in 3 innings of work Friday.