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Columbus Fights Off Coral Gables For 6-4 Win

Columbus won its second in a row as it fought off a tenacious Coral Gables team 6-4 on Thursday in a non-district matchup.

Gables jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second. A solo blast by Elijah Eusebio started the inning off. Kristopher Soto later scored on an error. Columbus’ Gabriel Rivera scored on Matthew Alfonso’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning to make it 2-1.

An inning later, the Explorers (9-5), who are 7-0 at home this season, took the lead on home runs by Hernen Sardinas and Daniel Bello. Columbus took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth. Courtesy runner Alex Rodriguez scored on a catcher’s interference, and Sardinas doubled in Chris Rodriguez and Alfonso.

But the Cavaliers (5-10) had more in them and came back to tie in the top of the fourth as Soto scored when Rodriguez hit into a fielder’s choice.

Eusebio scored on David Atkins’ single in the top of the sixth for the final run.

Jose Machado got the win for Columbus, allowing six hits while walking three and striking out five in five innings. Closer Dominick Diaz put away the final six outs to record the save.

“Diaz was terrific in relief coming in with bases loaded in the top of the sixth and and a 6-4 lead with no outs,” Explorers manager Joe Weber said. “He struck out the first two batters and got the third to ground out to end the threat.”

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