Palm Beach High School Baseball
Cardinal Newman High School Baseball

Santaluces Blanks Heritage-Delray 1-0 In Season Opener

Santaluces starter Jared Petronis struck out five while allowing a hit and a walk to earn the victory.

Santaluces manager Nick Franco has said that the team does not have the strength of numbers this year, but rather that its strength is in those numbers. The Chiefs only have 14 total players on the roster this season, but they are all veteran players that contribute to make up a very balanced and deep roster.

Monday night the players backed Franco’s statement with a 1-0 shutout victory over American Heritage-Delray, during Opening Day action as part of the Santaluces Slam tournament hosted at the Santaluces Sports Complex in Lake Worth.

Jared Petronis struck out five while allowing a hit and a walk, before exiting with two outs in the fourth inning after throwing just 56 total pitches. Brandon Williams then came in and recorded the final ten outs to preserve the win and earn the save. Williams also struck out five, while surrendering three hits and two walks.

“The two guys we threw today did an excellent job of commanding the strike zone and they kept the hitters off-balance,” Coach Franco said. “For Jared Petronis, it worked out perfectly with a four-game week in regards to the pitch count and the new state rules, because he may pitch again. Brandon Williams pitched three-and-a-third and also picked off two guys on the bases, which really hurt their chances. But any time you have a lefty on the mound with a good move it is a benefit for us.”

Eathyn Little tallied the only run of the contest in the bottom of the second inning, coming in as a courtesy-runner after Neiko Megrichian led off the frame with a walk. Bradley Terry followed with a walk, a wild pitch allowed both runners to advance and Jamal Johnson got the ball on the ground to the right side for an RBI ground out.

Bailey Uderitz went 1-for-3 for the Stallions.

The Stallions continued to battle and play aggressively with runners on base, but the Chiefs’ defense responded to erase three runners on the bases. As will likely be the case all season, all 14 members of the team helped contribute to the victory.

“We have ten returners that logged a lot of innings last year, and even the young guys that didn’t get a lot of time on the mound are going to pitch a lot this year,” Franco said. “They are off to a good start. Coach Mazza has a good team over there and they made a state run last year, so it’s a good way to start the season. But we can’t be so happy about it that we forget about tomorrow. It’s time to start thinking about tomorrow.”

Strong pitching helped keep Heritage-Delray in the game. Starter Ryan Bruno allowed only two hits and struck out five, but struggled in allowing four walks. Junior reliever Dylan Lloyd helped keep the Stallions in the game and give his team a chance by tossing three shutout innings with five strikeouts.

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