BY GENE NARDI
Wellington High School’s varsity baseball team hosted Spanish River High School on Friday, April 21 and held off the Sharks 2-1, scoring a late run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The evening’s senior night game was celebrated by all four senior pitchers getting time on the mound. Angelo Brunelas started the first inning, followed by Luke Panakos, John Campagnuolo and Sawyer Losey.
Brunelas struck out his first batter at the start of the game. The first inning concluded with no runs and no hits. The Wolverines (19-5) threatened in the bottom of the second inning, but a stingy Shark infield nullified the scare with a double play.
Panakos entered the game on the mound in the third inning when the contest remained scoreless. At the bottom of the third, Danny Hernandez hit an RBI single, bringing in Michael Doscher to lift Wellington up 1-0. With the Wolverines having success at the plate, Hernandez attempted to capitalize on a Spanish River error, but it proved costly when he was tagged between third base and home plate.
Wellington’s defense continued to shine, keeping the Spanish River dugout quiet as the game approached the later innings with Wellington clinging to the 1-0 lead. Campagnuolo entered the game on the mound in the top of the fifth inning for Wellington. The Wolverines displayed strong defensive play with a double play of their own to end the Sharks’ threat at the plate.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, it seemed as if Wellington would add to their lone run, loading the bases. However, Spanish River denied their efforts.
The sixth inning was all defense and closed out scoreless, forcing the Sharks to look for the tying run in the top of the seventh. Losey took the mound for the Wolverines in the seventh inning. The Sharks got the equalizer with an unearned run. An error allowed the Shark runner to land on third base, followed by a sacrifice fly to send in the tying run.
In the bottom of the inning, Hernandez hit a one-out single for the Wolverines. Knowing that Wellington needed a run to avoid going into extra innings, Hernandez stole second base, then took third on an overthrow at second.
It was another costly error by the Sharks from the mound to the plate that spelled their demise. The Spanish River pitcher threw low, and the ball hit the clay, bouncing up over the catcher and hitting the back fence. Hernandez zeroed in on the plate as soon as he saw the ball clear the catcher, and crossed the plate for the winning run.
With the 2-1 victory, Wellington improved to 19-5 on the season.
ABOVE: Wellington senior Sawyer Losey pitches in the seventh inning.