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TERRA Falls To Pines Charter In Regional Quarterfinal

Carlos Lequerica struck out seven in five innings of work.

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The Pines Charter Jaguars advanced to the regional semifinal, after defeating the TERRA Wolves 9-1 on Tuesday night.

Pines Charter will now host Doral Academy in the regional semifinal on Tuesday. It’s the Jaguars first trip back to the regional semifinals since 2016, and they look to advance further for the first time since 2014.

“We lost to a team that made the right pitches when they needed to, and also had the right approach at the plate. They made us work,” Wolves first-year manager Jorge Robles said.

The scoreboard did not tell the whole story, as the game was a pitching duel for the first few innings, between Maverick Medina and Carlos Lequerica.

The Jaguars got a run in the first after a balk was called with a runner on third. Lequerica was able to escape the inning with no further damage. Both offenses remained quiet for the next few innings, as neither team could get anything going.

TERRA had an opportunity to tie things up in the top of the fourth, after Daniel Labrador doubled to center to lead off the inning, with the heart of the Wolves lineup to follow. Medina said he tried to stay mentally strong despite being in that jam.

“At first I was frustrated, but then I remembered I had to calm down and execute my pitches to get out of it,” the Jaguars right-hander said.

Medina was able to strike out the next two hitters, and, thanks to a great defensive play by shortstop Jayme Villafane, the Jags were able to get out of the inning.

Anthony Rodriguez avoids a tag at home to score.

“Maverick pitched outstanding,” Pines charter manager Carlos Iglesias said. “He kept pounding the strike zone, pitching to contact, and he had some help there by Jayme, who made one of the best plays I’ve ever seen. That changed the momentum of the game.”

Pines Charter got a rally going in their half of the fourth. With two outs, and two on, Maxwell Romero Jr. came up to the plate looking to add some insurance.

“The only thing on my mind was to get those runners in. A single, something, anything to get those runs in,” Romero said of his at-bat.

Down 1-2 in the count, Romero Jr. blasted a home run over the right-field fence. The three-run jack gave the Jaguars a 4-0 advantage.

Terra tried to answer back in the top of the fifth. A two-out rally started by an Anthony Rodriguez single and a walk to David Knepper set up an RBI opportunity for Peter Muina. Muina got the Wolves on the board with an RBI single to make it 4-1.

Iglesias made a move to the bullpen and brought in Dylan Vega, who got Pines Charter out of the inning with no further damage.

The Jaguars broke it open in the bottom of the sixth inning, as the TERRA pitching staff could not find the strike zone. Walks along with some defensive miscues allowed Pines Charter to score five runs to make it a 9-1 game.

Vega was able to close out the game in the bottom of the seventh, and seal the victory for the Jags.

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