Palm Beach High School Baseball
Mastering the Mental Side of Baseball

Park Vista Falls To Flanagan In First HSBN Live Broadcast

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Flanagan manager Ray Evans sees some really good characteristics in his ball club that remind him of some of the great teams he has coached before at the school, in particular the program’s 2010 National Championship team. It seems as though the players bring their best in the biggest moments, which was again the case on Tuesday night as the Falcons hosted rival 9A powerhouse Park Vista. Flanagan again proved up to task in breaking open a close game with a monster sixth inning that led the way to a 12-3 victory over the Cobras.

“We are at a point now where, when we go out to perform, we just expect to do what we need to do,” Evans said. “They have been going out there and playing well, and pitching well and the defense is playing pretty well. We have certain guys that are really, really hot and confident right now and swinging the bat well. It is really fun to watch them play right now.”

Tuesday’s game brought with it for the first time an opportunity for HSBN fans to also enjoy the live game action from the comfort of home, as the game was broadcast live. It was a look into the future of what HSBN will be bringing to South Florida in the 2019 season.

“This was really cool for the kids,” Evans said. “I told them to make sure they watch their language and how they acted, and knowing it was a live feed being broadcast, they were all pumped up about that,” said Evans.

The action lived up to expectations between the two powerhouse, even though the final score was not as indicative. It was a tight, one-run ball game before Flanagan erupted offensively to pull away to victory on the strength of eight runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

“When we took the lead, we felt pretty secure, and then they came back that one inning. But my guys wanted to do what they had to do to make sure they secured the win. That one inning just got away from them and we took advantage of it,” said the Falcons manager.

The Falcons (20-1) plated the deciding run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Catcher Miguel Useche added on to an excellent defensive performance by working a walk to account for the winning run, which was scored by courtesy-runner Alec Ducasse on a sac-fly RBI from Jordan Rodriguez. That gave Flanagan a 4-0 lead at the time, after Tyler Epstein and Tyler Evans both scored in the first and Stephen Schissler drove in Jesus Delgado in the second.

Ryan Wallace made the start and took the loss for the Cobras, allowing two earned runs on four hits with four strikeouts.

The offense got hot again in the sixth, taking advantage of a few Cobra miscues to tremendously widen the lead. Flanagan batted around the order as everyone got into the action to charge ahead to victory.

“I’m hoping we fix our mistakes we made tonight,” Park Vista manager Larry Greenstein said. “It’s never easy losing a game like this. We were 4-3 going into the sixth inning.”

Park Vista strung together some good innings to work itself back into the action. The Cobras (18-6) got on the scoreboard by stringing things together in the top of the fourth. Nolan Schanuel walked and Taylor Clapp followed with the club’s first hit of the night. A balk advanced both runners and Zach Mendiguren plated Schanuel with an RBI ground out.

Peyton Harmon takes a cut for the Cobras. The catcher was 0-for-1 with a sacrifice bunt.

Schanuel also connected for the last big hit of the night for the Cobras, as part of a two-run fifth inning. Patrick Skibiski reached on an error and then scored on RBI double from Zach Hurley, who in turn came in when Schanuel clubbed an RBI triple that just stayed in the yard and clanged off the fence.

Flanagan starter Derek Cabrera was not fazed, and the coaches trusted the right-hander to stay in and get the job done. The junior did just that, getting out of the inning and convincing his coaches to allow him the scoreless sixth inning he then delivered. Cabrera allowed an earned run on three hits and two walks, and he struck out five.

“He definitely earned it, and that was why that last inning I kept him out there,” Evans said. “As soon as we got all those runs I yanked him. He definitely earned it and he was battling.”

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