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Miami Brito Comes Back Over Miami Stingarees

Zachary Torres is congratulated by his Brito teammates after escaping a tight jam in the sixth.

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The Miami Brito Panthers rallied back late in the game to earn an 8-5 win over the Miami Stingarees, in Wednesday’s HSBN March Madness Shootout consolation action. The Panthers (8-5) evened things up in the fifth inning and then went ahead with the deciding runs in the bottom of the sixth for their first victory of the tournament.

Luis Ruiz provided the big hit of the day for Brito. The junior infielder came to bat with two on base in the bottom of the sixth after Denniel Munoz and Alex Nino both walked, and he delivered a drive deep over the outfielder for a double that plated both runners. Ruiz later scared as well, following a wild pitch.

Panthers junior reliever Zachary Torres played a major role in the comeback, earning the relief victory. With the game tied in the top of the sixth and Miami’s Bryan Delomonte on second base after reaching on an error, Torres dug in and struck out the next two batters to quell the Stingarees’ final comeback bid.

The Stingarees drew first blood to take a lead with a run in the second. Miami (5-9-1) added on to its lead with another pair of runs in the top of the fourth, when Luis Quiala connected on a shot deep to the left field fence and then raced all the way around the bases for a stand-up, two-RBI triple.

Miami’s Luis Quiala reacts after smacking a two-RBI triple in the fourth.

Miami Brito answered back to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth when Jonathan Ricardo delivered an RBI double to make it a 3-1 ball game.

Miami responded right away to extend the lead again in the fifth. Xavier Villegas got it going with a double and Kendry Noriega was next with a single up the middle that had both runners in scoring position. Hernando Alvarez then lifted a flare into shallow right-center field to send both runners across the plate.

Brito grabbed the momentum for good to even things up with four runs in the bottom of the fifth. Elvin Granado reached on an error and came home on a wild pitch, and an infield error led to another run. Ozzyel Gabarro then came through with an RBI single ripped past the shortstop, and another run came in off a fielding error.

“I preached early on in the tournament that these guys makes sure they handle themselves well and made a good turnover into the second half of the season and district play. We didn’t get the result we wanted in the end today, but hopefully this right here will be some learning games for down the road,” Miami manager Edwin Bonilla said. “You’re handcuffed when you play in tournaments and are limited with certain guys, but there were some positives. We have a young core, so the future is bright. There is much improvement we have to make but there were definitely some positives today.”

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