Douglas Moves Step Closer to Defend 7A State Title with 3-2 Win Over Taravella.

Douglas Senior catcher Santiago Ordonez drove in the tying run with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to help lead Douglas to a 3-2 victory over Taravella in a Class 7A regional semifinal baseball game on Friday.
Douglas Moves Step Closer to Defend 7A State Title with 3-2 Win Over Taravella.

By Dave Brousseau

BCAA Writer

PARKLAND – This was one of those edge of your seat high school baseball moments between two talented rivals in Douglas and Taravella.

It was also the rubber match after the teams had split two previous meetings this season with a Class 7A regional semifinal victory at stake.

In the end it was Douglas, the defending Class 7A state and National Champion hanging on for a 3-2 victory Friday night. The victory was the 19th straight for the Eagles.

Douglas (27-2) will host Miami Columbus in a regional final on Tuesday. The two teams met in last year’s state semifinal with Douglas earning a 3-2 victory.

“I feel we are a championship caliber ball club and these guys battled,” said Fitz-Gerald. “We got the big home run Santiago [Ordonez] and we got a couple more in the end. I couldn’t be happier for the guys as they battled hard.”

Senior outfielder and left-hand pitcher Chris Arroyo drove a two-run double to left-field for the decisive runs. The hit comes on the heals of his two home runs in the Eagles regional quarterfinal victory over West Broward on Tuesday.

Arroyo (9-1) was also the winning pitcher after relieving Eagle’s starter Jake Clemente to start the top of the fifth inning. He allowed an unearned run on a wild pitch in the top of the sixth inning that cut the Douglas 3-1 lead in half.

In his three innings, Arroyo allowed two hits and struck out four to earn the win.

“I didn’t know what pitch was coming so I sat on it and got the hit,” said Arroyo. “I loved the atmosphere and to compete and that’s what I’m out there for. We know we can’t win three more unless you win one.”

Up 1-0 entering the top of the fourth inning, Taravella appeared to have doubled its lead when Senior catcher Matthew Rubin’s apparent RBI single scored Anthony Quigley from third for a 2-0 lead.

Douglas coach Todd Fitz-Gerald brought to the attention of the plate umpire that Rubin’s bat was illegal as the ball at the end of the bat had been tampered with. After the three umpires review of the bat, the hit and run were both disallowed and Rubin was called for third out.

Douglas Senior catcher Santiago Ordonez had noticed the bat was tampered with and informed Fitz-Gerald. Ordonez responded with one-out in the bottom of the fourth inning on the first pitch homer off Taravella starter Christopher Scinta, tying the score at 1-1.

“The pitcher gave me a fast ball inside and I got a good look at it,” said Ordonez on his home run. “As soon as we got in the dugout after the bat issue, we had momentum on our side. We just said put the bat on the ball and produce for the team.”

Scinta, who earned the season-opening 4-3 victory over Douglas, tossed four complete innings before he was replaced by Brandon Metivier to open the bottom of the fifth inning following a lightning delay. Scinta allowed two hits, one run with five strikeouts. 

Taravella (21-6-1) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the opening inning on an RBI single from Aris Rivera that scored Rubin from second.