Visiting Broncos Dominate Wildcats 6-0 On The Baseball Diamond

Palm Beach Central baseball head coach Tony Gullo addresses his team after the victory.

By Mike May

The old adage that pitching and defense wins baseball games was true on Tuesday, March 3 when the Royal Palm Beach High School Wildcats hosted the Palm Beach Central High School Broncos in a western showdown on the baseball diamond.

The visiting Broncos had brilliant pitching and an error-free defense as they blanked the Wildcats 6-0. Three Palm Beach Central pitchers — Johnny Napoles, Brandon Vazquez and Sammy Orozco — combined in the one-hit, no-walk shutout.

The only base runner all game for Royal Palm Beach was left-fielder Christian Marrero, who had a one-out single in the bottom of the first. After that, Palm Beach Central recorded 20 consecutive outs, seven of which were strikeouts, to secure the victory.

The big inning for Palm Beach Central was in the top of the second inning when the first four batters reached base on three walks and a single, which brought in one run. Then, two outs later, Bronco Robert Melchionni’s pop fly to shallow left center field was dropped for an error, which allowed all three Palm Beach Central base runners to cross home plate. Palm Beach Central’s lead grew to 4-0.

In the sixth inning, the Broncos scored two more runs when Melchionni had a two-run single to left field, which plated teammates David Domis and Josh Hernandez.

Palm Beach Central head coach Tony Gullo was pleased with his squad’s effort in the game. “Our focus, attitude and effort were good tonight,” Gullo said. “I was very pleased with the pitching effort of Johnny Napoles.”

Royal Palm Beach head coach Thomas Coates expected more out of his team, which pounded Pahokee High School the night before, 33-0. “Tonight, we got in our way and didn’t really play well, though pitcher Michael Wall was effective in relief,” Coates said.

Both teams play their next game on Friday, March 6. Royal Palm Beach travels to Martin County High School, while Palm Beach Central plays at Jupiter High School.