Offense Erupts As Country Day Defeats Westwood
The Westwood Christian Warriors faced the Miami Country Day Spartans in a 3A-15 battle that had a similar meaning for both teams that had nothing at stake. Coming into the game the Warriors had their spot in the district tournament reserved, while the Spartans were out of contention.
For Warriors Manager Julio Andrade, it was about getting through one more game in a busy week leading up to the playoffs.
“Today was about survival,” said Andrade. “We have four games this week. I have a guy injured and I have a guy serving a suspension. All my pitchers threw Saturday and Monday, so today was about letting whoever doesn’t pitch throw, and surviving the game.”
The Spartans (8-13, 4-8) on the other hand looked to keep developing as a young team with no seniors looking to end the season on a positive note.
“We have no seniors,” said Spartans Manager Paul Barrios. “We’re playing a lot of underclassmen but some of these guys you see better approaches as the year goes on. So it’s promising for next year or maybe even the conference tournament, and you can see it in them.”
The Warriors (8-8, 6-6) won 11-2 in the two teams’ first meeting back in February. But this time around the Spartans made sure they left the party with at least half of the cake, winning 14-7.
The second inning proved to be the big inning that set them apart today. Country Day compiled five hits and three walks, resulting in a six-run inning. Patrick Basile started things off with a walk, followed by four hits, including an RBI double by Griffin Sennett that scored Basile and a two-run single by Austin Pollak, who had three RBIs on the night. A few batters later Connor Goodman drew a bases-loaded walk, before Jesse Grossman hit a two-run double.
Kian Andersen and Colten Katcher made sure of the victory, combining for a 6-for-8 night with a home run, two doubles, four RBIs and four runs scored. Andersen started off the scoring in the first inning with a two-run single, scoring Juztin Gross and Jordan Sale.
“I pretty much always think of contact when I come to the plate,” said Andersen. “I’m just going up there trying to bring runners in and trying to win the game.”
Katcher had a perfect day at the plate. He brought in a run on a walk during the second inning, hit a double in the fourth and a home run in the sixth to finish 3-for-3.
“My mindset was to go up there and make contact,” said Katcher. “Put the ball in play, help the team out, try not to strike out, get on base any way I could and contribute to the final score any way I could was my main goal during the game.”
With the Spartans up early the Warriors displayed patience and plate discipline, manufacturing two runs. A wild pitch brought in Alexis Viart and a fielding miscue allowed Gabriel Rocher to score.
The Spartans added two more in the fourth on a double by Katcher that plated Brian Macias. Grosman followed with a sac-fly, scoring Katcher for his third RBI of the night while making the score 9-2.
The Warriors answered with three runs to close the gap for a 9-5 game. Matthew Mejias drove Kristian Perez and Michael Mejias in with a single, and later scored on a ground ball. They managed to get even closer in the top half on the sixth after Joel Arzugaray scored on a fielding blunder to pull within three runs.
Insurance came in the home half of the sixth when Katcher sent a 2-2 fastball over the right-center field fence.
“I was just looking to stay back on the ball and drive it to right-center,” said Katcher.
Grosman later scored on a wild pitch, followed by Basile scoring on a Pollak sac-fly and Juztin Gross scoring on a balk.
The Warriors look to close their season on a busy schedule, with five non-district games in nine days before heading to the district 3A-15 playoffs. The Spartans have a much less busy schedule, closing up the season with two non-district games before heading to their conference tournament.