Miami Springs Upends Familiar Foe For District Title
There is not many rivalries over the past few years that are more intense than Miami Springs and Mater Lakes Academy. The two schools provided some of the biggest dramatic moments last year in the district final and regional quarterfinals.
The Bears won the district title in 2022, but the Hawks responded by winning the regional match up.
On Thursday afternoon, the teams squared off in the 4A-15 title game, and this time there was little drama as Springs too care of business 8-1 to win the championship.
“Mater Lakes is always a tough opponent,” said Hawks Manager David Fanshawe. “We had some timely hits and capitalized on some mistakes throughout the game, and was able to break it open late.”
On the mound for Springs was Brandon Olivera. The senior continued his strong 2023 campaign, going six innings, and striking out nine Bears’ batters.
“We had a great outing from Brandon,” said Fanshawe.
As for the timely hits, it was a struggle early for both teams as Olivera and Mater Lakes starter Javier Reyes were locked in a pitchers duel for much of the afternoon. The score was 2-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth, when the Hawks were finally able to break through with three runs.
A couple passed balls took the lead from 2-1 to 5-1 in the inning.
The Hawks would then add on three more in the sixth, on a bases-loaded double off the bat of Andy Hernandez. Of the seven hits Springs had on the day, Hernandez, Kelven Perrera, and Ivan Membrano had six of them, two apiece.
In the seventh, David Davila was able to close the door, allowing only one hit, and sending the Hawks to their second district title in three years.
The title was especially rewarding for the Hawks, who came into the season expected to be one of the top teams in Miami. They have dealt with a rash of injuries, and have just started to show what they are capable of the past few weeks, winning nine of their last 11 games.
“I am proud of the team today,” said Fanshawe, “As we have battled through injuries most of the year, and have stayed tough through the course of the season. It’s a great feeling to win a district title on your home field.”
Springs will now move on to regional play, where they will seek to advance to the state final four for the second time in the past four played season.