Andres Fletes Pitches Southwest To Win Over Coral Park
The Southwest Miami Eagles won for the second time this season, defeating the rival Coral Park Rams 6-2 to improve their record to 2-7. More importantly the victory improves Southwest’s record in District 8A-15 to 2-3, while dropping the Rams to 1-4 in the district.
It has been a rough start to the season coming into Wednesday’s game at Coral Park. A silver lining to the Eagles troublesome start of 2015 is in senior Andres Fletes. On the mound, Fletes had allowed just four earned runs and struck out 18 hitters, while posting a 1.91 ERA in 14.2 innings pitched heading into Wednesday’s game verse the Rams.
Wednesday’s win proved to be hard fought and anybody’s game until the final out was recorded. The Rams (3-6) refused to go away quietly despite scoring the teams only two runs early in the second inning. The Rams actually held the lead over the Eagles until the fifth inning by a score of 2-1. The Eagles grabbed the lead in the top of the fifth and eventually the win by scoring in the final three frames.
“We had a tough one last night, so it was good for us to come out and get on the board early and then we got a good pitching performance so that always helps,” said Manager Josy Torres. “It’s good to get a district point.”
Southwest went ahead in the fifth. A strikeout on a wild pitch advanced Danny Cruz to first base, followed by a stolen base and a passed ball that advanced Cruz another ninety feet. A sacrifice-fly to left field off the bat of Robert Campo plated the freshman Cruz for the second run of the game for the Eagles. After tying the game, the Eagles rallied with two outs on a single from junior Pablo Mendez. Mendez advanced to second after a Rams error and then scored on an Alec Delgado RBI single, giving the Eagles a 3-1 lead heading into the home half of the fifth.
After a fired up Robert Campo smoked an RBI single to left that knocked in Tony Gomez and knocked out Rams starter Carlos Cabanas in the sixth, the Eagles gained all the momentum and never gave it back. In the last inning the Eagles tacked on two insurance runs on a two-out, two-RBI double by senior Austin Sprinkle to further their lead 6-2.
“We’re going to take it one game at a time right now, we have a long way to go for us to have a chance to get out of this district, we have some work to do still,” said Torres. “We’ll take some positives out of this but we’re taking it one game at a time, one week at a time.”
Coral Park starting pitcher Carlos Cabanas paved the way with an exciting start to the game. Cabanas went five and two-third innings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits and two walks. He struck out seven. In the first inning Cabanas struck out two Eagles to leave the bases loaded and escape with no damage after giving up two singles and a hit batter earlier in the inning.
Fletes first inning of work for the Eagles was just as exciting, as he was able to pitch out of a no-out, runners on second and third situation. Fletes was able to get Felix Meana to strikeout, Ramon Ferreiro to hit a dribbler back to the mound for the second out and Gabriel Contreras to fly out to left field for the third and final out of the inning.
Jason Grana earned his way on to start the top half of the second for the Eagles by getting hit in the thigh, then stealing second base on the very next pitch. After a sacrifice bunt from Jesse Duran advanced Grana to third, he was able to score on a fielding error by the Ram defense for the first run of the game.
The Rams answered back quickly with two runs of their own in the bottom of the second. Junior Alejandro Castro led the inning off with a double to the gap, then advanced to third base on a passed ball, placing him ninety feet away from tying the game. An RBI single off the bat of the nine-hole hitter Jose Rollins plated Castro, and placed Rollins on second after he caught the Eagle defense sleeping. Following a fly ball out from Brandon Gomis, it was Bryan Grafton that knocked in the tying run with a double to left-center that plated Rollins.
After the second inning, the ball game settled down and fans witnessed great pitching and exciting play from both catchers for the next two innings. In the top of the third Cabanas struck out the first batter, followed by an infield error that allowed Felix Meana to reach base safely. After a 2-3 putout, Cabanas got a flyout to center for the final out of the third.
A leadoff error by the Eagles defense looked promising for the Rams in the bottom of the third, but a speedy Ferreiro was caught stealing on a laser throw from catcher Ray Pastrana. The rest of the inning was a breeze as Fletes got two consecutive fly outs to end the inning.
The fourth inning went quietly for both sides as there was only one hit between the seven batters that stepped into the box. The Eagles took control in the fifth, and the Rams couldn’t answer back as Fletes was in top form as he retired the side in order for the third consecutive inning.
“I think he has been doing it for some time now,” Southwest Manager Josy Torres said. “He was solid all year for us last year, you know. That’s what we expect from him when he steps on the mound.”
Back out for the bottom of the seventh inning, attempting to finish off the complete game for the Eagles was Andres Fletes. The Rams last chance would come up short, as Brandon Gomis singled with two outs but was stranded. Fletes recorded the final out on a called third strike that froze the Rams batter.