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King’s Academy Prevails 5-1 At Palm Beach Central

Tanner Barfield threw a complete-game to earn the win over the Palm Beach Central Broncos on Tuesday.

Coming off a rough stretch last week, The King’s Academy Lions got exactly what they needed on Tuesday night by earning a 5-1 road victory over the Palm Beach Central Broncos. It is the second straight win for the Lions, and it evens their record back to 5-5 on the season.

“It was important for us to bounce back,” Manager Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. “We had a tough week last week at the Westminster Academy Classic losing three games, some tough games. The boys showed some resiliency, playing a good team from out of state in Province Day, North Carolina, getting a good win against them. Obviously bouncing back the next day we were facing the bigger-school team that we’ve always had good battles against, a well-coached team. But the boys bounced in there and were able to stay on the gas pedal and keep scoring some runs.”

Senior Tanner Barfield pitched seven innings for the complete-game victory, while only giving up one run. The left-hander allowed five hits and also hit a batter, but did not issue any walks and also recorded three strikeouts.

The Broncos managed just one run, which came off a solo home run from Slade Wayne.

“He’s really been a solidified pitcher in our rotation,” Saltalamacchia said. “He kind of struggled with throwing strikes, but he’s been great for us all year.”

The Lions grabbed the lead early on and never let it go, capping it off with a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning that gave them much more breathing room. Catcher Luke Shelhamer led the way by going 2-for-4 with a home run, while Nolan Payne went 2-for-3 with a run and Nolan Feyereisen and Matt DelValle both went 2-for-3.

The Broncos (4-4) got their only run thanks to a solo home run from Slade Wayne. But that offense came in the bottom of the seventh inning, with time nearly running out for a comeback. Central collected five hits overall, but struggled to push many base runners across the plate. Gabriel Diaz was 2-for-3 and Pat Rodriguez went 1-for-3 with a double.

Palm Beach Central center fielder William Mencho.

Meanwhile, it all just seemed to be clicking right for the Lions.

“Just seeing the kids kind of come together has really been fun to watch,” Saltalamacchia said. “They’re getting along off the field, and on the field are starting to figure it out and knowing how to play the game the right way. We’re running the bases, catching the ball, and throwing the ball the way the game was intended, and everyone’s kind of playing a role, which is exciting to see.”

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