Palm Beach High School Baseball
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Spanish River Outlasts Boca Raton For Fifth Straight Win

Teammates Wait To Congratulate Jorel Ortega on His 2-Run HR.

For the second year in a row, the Spanish River Sharks defeated their cross-town riva Boca Raton Bobcats. With the 9-5 victory, manager William Harvey’s team extends its winning streak to five games, and the team is now (14-3) on the campaign.

“This was one of our goals, this game tonight. By winning tonight we win the south conference for baseball which we haven’t done in about seven or eight years,” said the Sharks skipper. “I knew it was going to be a hard-fought game. I know their record might not show it, but this is Boca and Spanish River; it’s going to be a good game no matter what the records are.”

It was a hard-fought game indeed, as both teams came out swinging early on.

The Bobcat bats jumped all over Sharks’ ace Nick Lyon in the first inning. Sophomore Jake Ronan started the scoring with a double in the gap and later scored on an RBI single by senior Andrew Cappeller. After a walk and a hit-by-pitch, senior Shane McCormack singled to center field, driving in two more runs to put Spanish River in an early 0-3 hole.

But the Sharks wasted no time in getting themselves back in the ball game. Sophomore Ben Goldfarb singled to right field and junior Jorel Ortega cleared the bases with a towering home run over the center field wall to make it a one-run ball game.

“I was just trying to put it in play. I know I’m not going to see a lot of fastballs, so I just sat on the breaking pitch, and I just tried to drive it where it was pitched,” Ortega said.

Andrew Cappeller had two hits and two RBIs in the game.

The Bobcats picked up where they left off in the first inning. After a two-out walk to Ronan, Cappeller hit a ball over the left fielder’s head for an RBI double, making it 4-2 in favor of the Bobcats.

Like their opponent, the Sharks had no plans to take their foot off the pedal and started a two-out rally of their own. Sam Pirozzi began the inning with a walk, and later advanced to third on a single by junior Mike Hopta. The two scored on back-to-back RBI singles by Goldfarb and Ortega, which chased Bobcats starter Ben Fix out of the game.

“We’ve tried to have an ‘on-base approach’ all year. We focus on getting on base and going station by station and that has really been working for us this year,” Goldfarb said of his team’s success at the plate.

The Sharks extended their lead with a pair of runs off of errors in the third inning.

Sharks starter Nick Lyon was able to settle down after the rough start to keep the Bobcats in check. Some of this was thanks to some great defensive plays by Ortega and Goldfarb on the left side of the infield.

“Our defense really set the tone for us,” said Harvey. “Jorel climb the ladder on the liner, and then Ben made that Brooks Robinson play at third base. Those balls get down for hits and it’s a whole different ball game.”

Ben Goldfarb had a huge day at the plate and on the field for the Sharks.

Harvey also joked that his young third baseman might not know who Brooks Robinson was and later called his play a “Machado” play.

Boca tallied one in the top of the seventh, but it was all for naught as they could not overcome the five-run deficit. The Bobcats had good offensive performance by Ronan and Capeller with two hits each, and McCormack, who tallied three hits in the ball game,

With his team now sitting at 4-12, Bobcats manager Alex Pepe hopes that his players can carry this energy level for the rest of the season.

“We came out with a high energy level, but then we lost the lead and became lackadaisical,” said Pepe. “We have plenty of talent, plenty of bats, but we have to keep a high energy level throughout the whole game. We haven’t played a full seven innings all year, and when you do that these are the results you are going to get.”

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