Santaluces Shocks Boca Raton
If there is one thing that can be counted on in playoff baseball, it is that things will never go according to plan. Every year there is going to be an upset somewhere along the line. It is just a matter of where and when.
For Palm Beach County, that question was answered on Tuesday afternoon when the Santaluces Chiefs defeated the Boca Raton Bobcats 4-1. Despite being swept by the Bobcats in the regular season and coming into the tournament as the fourth seed, the Chiefs entered their first round matchup undetered, capitalizing on Boca errors, manufacturing runs and leaning on a gutsy mound performance by staff ace Jacob Williams.
“Even with our record I preached that we were now 0-0 after last week,” recounted long time Santaluces manager Nick Franco. “We’re very young and great senior leadership kept us together through the grind.”
Williams began the game on a high note, setting down the side in order in each of the first two innings. In the meantime, a couple of errors and an RBI by Jorel Ortega in the top of the second gave Santaluces a 2-0 advantage.
The Bobcats broke through for their first base hit in the third but Williams was able to strand him to keep the lead intact. In all, Williams scattered four more hits through five innings of work, the last of which was a lead-off home run by Anthony Acino in the sixth. Prior to that, Williams was able to work out of a jam after surrendering a triple to Phillip Santiago in the first at-bat of the fifth inning.
In the top of the fifth, Santaluces was able to string together a trio of singles, the last of which went for an RBI by A.J. Orrico to stretch the Chiefs lead to 3-0. M.J. Restivo scored an unearned run in the sixth to cap of the Chiefs scoring.
With the win, Santaluces advances to play the winner of Tuesday night’s Park Vista vs. Lake Worth contest and has punched their ticket into the regional tournament for the first time since 2013.