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Columbus Holds Off Pace For 3-2 Win

Columbus built a three-run lead by the third inning and held on to win 3-2 against Monsignor Pace in a non-district matchup Tuesday. The Explorers (5-3) won their fifth consecutive game after opening the season 0-3. The Spartans, meanwhile, fell to 4-4 and have lost two in a row.

Matthew Alfonso led off the bottom of the first with a walk and scored on Gabriel Rivera’s double to center to give Columbus a 1-0 lead. Juan Carulla homered the next inning, and Hernen Sardiñas delivered a solo shot the following frame to make it 3-0.

Undaunted, the Spartans rallied for a pair of runs in the top of the fourth on a long ball of their own. Justin Ledesma’s homer also scored Brandon Cruz, who got on with a double.

Pace was handcuffed the rest of the game, with 1-2-3 innings in the fifth and sixth and nearly the same in the seventh. In that inning, Anthony Sanabria singled to left, but Columbus closer Dominick Diaz induced a groundout to end the game.

Carulla led the Explorers with two hits, and Jose Machado earned the win, striking out six, allowing five hits and walking none in six innings.

The Explorers will look to extend their five-game winning streak Thursday in a 9A-15 matchup against Ferguson. Columbus will take on Varela and Southwest Miami in two more district games next week.

The Spartans will host American on Thursday and Miami Springs on Friday.

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