Palm Beach High School Baseball
Miami Marlins

Dwyer Reaches New Milestone With State Final Four Berth

Eddie Hayes slides into home for the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

A week of torture from Mother Nature finally paid off in the end for the Dwyer Panthers. After relentless rain pounded the West Palm Beach area all week long, a game originally scheduled for Tuesday night finally got started underneath a clear, blue sky on Friday afternoon. With a berth in the state tournament up for grabs, Belen Jesuit and the host Panthers battled through a pitcher’s duel until Dwyer’s Eddie Hayes scored on a throwing error to walk-off to a 2-1 victory.

The Panthers are now off to Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers to compete in the state Final Four tournament for the first time ever. Dwyer (25-5) will take on the Nease Panthers in a 7A state semifinal on Wednesday afternoon. Nease (19-11) advanced as the Region 7A-1 champion with a 5-4 win in ten innings over the Tate Aggies.

“I am just so proud of our guys,” Dwyer manager Frank Torre said. “For Dwyer to get to states for the first time in the 26-year history of the school just shows you how special this group of players is. To compete and grind it out against such a good team and good pitcher just shows the character of our guys. We have found a way to win games all year and that is a testament to our players’ ability to be their best when their best is required.”

Senior ace Shane Roberts made the start and went the first five innings for the Panthers. The right-hander allowed one hit and struck out seven, before turning things over to Justin Alintoff, who picked up the victory.

After the Wolverines (21-7-1) jumped out to a quick lead in the first ininng, Max Howard scored to even things up in the bottom of the third. Howard was hit by a pitch, moved to second thanks to a sacrifice bunt from Michael Siriani, then stole third before completing his trip around the bases by crossing the plate following a passed ball. Howard then came through to put the ball in play with Hayes in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh, and when the the defense committed a throwing error the Panthers capitalized to make program history.

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