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John Carroll Wins Third District Title In Four Years

The Rams are district champs.

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For John Carroll, winning district titles is becoming commonplace. The Rams won their third district title in four years Thursday night when they defeated Jupiter Christian 7-1.

The Rams’ recipe for success has been similar to recent years, relying heavily on the right arm of ace Chase Solesky. On this night, however, Solesky had help from all of his friends, as the Rams turned in a complete-team effort to gain the victory.

“This feels great,” said Solesky. “Jupiter Christian is a real good team, but we kept coming at them today and we were able to execute and do the things necessary to win the game. This is a good starting point for us, but we want to go win a state title this year.”

That potential state title will ride on the arm of Solesky, but also the title chase got a big boost this week with number two pitcher Austin Nirenberg finally getting back on the mound for a start after an arm injury kept him from pitching most of the year.

Nirenberg started the district final, and threw the first three innings, allowing no runs and striking out three.

“It felt good to be able to contribute on the mound,” said Nirenberg.

His manager agreed.

“Having him back out there gives us two strong arms that we can go to,” said Rams manager Andy Wells. “Its been a tough year for us because of the injuries. I’m sure some people will look at our record and think they have it easy, but we played a tough schedule, and we are just now getting healthy.”

Reed Burke started for the Eagles, and he kept the game scoreless through three innings.

In the fourth, the Rams finally broke through. Solesky started the inning by getting hit by a pitch. Keenan Bryant then sacrificed courtesy-runner Ryan Trubulsky to second. Harrison Stacy and Christopher Montpetit both walked. A Logan Williams single brought in the first two runs of the game.

John Carroll was back at it in the fifth. Michael Pedersen and Trubulsky scored in the frame, while Mario Presutti added a base hit.

In the sixth, the Rams blew the game open with the help of a couple of Eagles errors. Montpetit had the big hit in the inning, a lead-off double.

Austin Niernberg threw three shutout innings for the Rams.

From there, it was left to Solesky to close the door. When he struck out the final batter of the game, the party started on the mound for the Rams.

“We know we can be pretty good when we play like we did tonight,” said Nirenberg. “It’s still going to be a tough road, but we believe we are good enough to win it all.”

From here on out, the Rams will have to win two more games to reach their goal of heading to Fort Myers in mid-May. First up will be a home game next Thursday against Archbishop Carroll, from Miami.

“It’s nice to have that first regional game at home,” said Wells. “We will have a team coming to us, and we will be prepared. It’s an exciting time for us, and I am proud of these guys.”

Jupiter Christian is hoping to see the Rams again in two weeks, and that is within reach. With the way the playoffs are set up, the Eagles know any team looking to knock them out before the state finals will have to deal with ace Nik Constantakos, one of the top pitchers in the area. The eagles will travel to face Sagemont at 4:00 PM next Thursday in Weston.

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