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American Tops Hialeah Gardens in 9A-13 Battle

#32Michael Giordano, base hit up the middle, Patriots up 2-0, to 5th

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Almost a year ago, Hialeah Gardens traveled to American High and beat the Patriots on their home turf. This year, American returned the favor, beating the Gladiators 4-2 on the road at Hialeah Gardens on Thursday in a 9A-13 contest.

A stout pitching performance by senior right-handed pitcher Michael Diaz lifted the Patriots to victory. Diaz pitched five and one-third innings, allowing two runs, four hits and no walks with three strikeouts.

American’s offense helped Diaz settle in by scoring two runs in the first two innings. In the top of the first with one on and one out, Michael Giordano doubled to left, allowing Darian Oliva to score from second base.

The Patriots took a 2-0 lead in the second with two outs when Steven Martinez hit a ground ball that was misplayed, allowing Daniel Salas to score all the way from second base.

American made it 3-0 in the fifth inning before the Patriots ran into trouble in the sixth.

With one out and runners on second and third, the Patriots went to the bullpen to prevent a late rally. However, Alex De la Torre was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Javier Roman then answered the bell, scoring Levis Aguila and Manny Mollinedo on a line-drive single to right. Trailing 3-2, with two on, Hialeah Gardens was poised to take a lead, but American’s Dennis Renesto forced a strikeout and a ground out to end the inning.

The Patriots added a cushion in the seventh when Salas hit an RBI single for a valuable insurance run that doubled the lead. Renesto returned in the bottom of the seventh with a fury, striking out the side to end the game.

For American, Renesto pitched one and two-third innings allowing no runs, one hit, no walks and four strikeouts.

At the plate, Salas went 2-for-2 with an RBI, run scored and a walk, Giordano went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a double and Perez went 2-for-3 with a run and a walk.

For Hialeah Gardens, Alex Curiel went 2-for-4, Roman went 1-for-2 with two RBIs, and Aguila went 1-for-3 with a run scored.

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