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Pace Advances to Regional Semis, Beating Florida Christian 3-2

 

Junior Dyson Joseph greeted at home plate by teammate Robert Kramer after hitting a home run.

The Monsignor Pace Spartans (14-8) beat the Florida Christian Patriots (11-16) by a score of 3-2, in a tightly knit match-up that was battled out by each program’s respective starting pitchers.

For the home team Spartans, senior right-handed pitcher and St. Thomas University commit Jose Arauz got the rock for his team. Jose, a position player who was converted into a pitcher by his program, was primarily a set-up man, who would be brought in usually to relieve or close out a game throughout the season.

While he had earned a start before in his career, Arauz was thrown into a start that would usually go to Spartans ace Joseph Caballero, a Miami-Dade College commit that is preparing for the Major League drafted.

Arauz didn’t miss a beat however, as he pitched 5.2 innings, striking out five, and giving up only six hits and one run. Arauz went the distance as this was his longest outing of the season.

“From the beginning of the game, I knew I was ready… I was hyped,” said Arauz.

While most of his pitches were working and helping him execute, one pitch in particular was crucial in Arauz’ success.

“My slider, that’s my baby,” said Arauz. He was able to not only throw it in for a strike but use it as an out pitch to psych out the hitter.

Spartans’ manager Tom Duffin had high praise for Arauz.

“He’s got guts,” said Duffin. “The moment doesn’t faze him.”

St. Thomas University commit Jose Arauz pitching for Monsignor Pace.

Florida Christian starter, junior right-handed pitcher and University of Miami commit Lorenzo Collera was extremely impressive as well, as he got the rock for his Patriots team. Lorenzo too went the distance, as he pitched six innings, which also happens to be the complete game for the Patriots, striking out a whopping 12 batters and walking three, only giving up four hits and three runs in his start.

“I felt dominant, and I really wanted to this for my team,” said Collera. “This team means a lot to me. They accepted me as a player, so everything I did on that mound today was for them.”

Patriots’ manager Chris Brigman had some encouraging word for his starter after the loss.

“What an addition he’s been. He’s been lights out all year long. Unfortunately, the run support wasn’t the greatest, and this is probably the second time where he’s been at double digit strikeouts in a game.”

The Spartans were only able to string together four hits in the contest, however most were big hits, as half of them were home runs. Junior Dyson Joseph hit a big opposite field home run in the second inning in order to score the first run of the game and put his Pace team on the scoreboard.

“It felt good,” said Joseph about the home run, “I’m just ready to hit, first pitch.”

University of Miami commit Lorenzo Collera set and ready to deliver the pitch.

His Spartans teammate Jacob Poletto had a homerun of his own in the game, his to right-center field.

“In my first at-bat, I was looking for a fastball, fouled a couple off but didn’t get it. I felt good in my third at-bat, got a fastball and was able to put it away.”

With the loss, Florida Christian’s season come to an end. The Spartans advance to the regional semi-final against Calvary Christian.

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