Varsity baseball defeats Palm Beach Gardens in walk-off win


Kelsie Yon

Number 6, Cameron Harris, gets ready to swing. Making outfield nervous. Photo by Kelsie Yon

In a big matchup for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s varsity baseball team, on May 15 where Palm Beach Gardens was one of the two regular-season losses for the Eagles this season, they needed a win to advance to state playoffs. Both teams knew they would have to perform at their best if they wanted to win.

On the mound for Douglas was left-handed pitcher Chris Arroyo (4) matching up with Dom Stagliano, who pitched in the regular-season victory for Palm Beach.

In the first inning, Arroyo would tightrope out of a jam to keep the game scoreless, recording two strikeouts along the way and keeping the game scoreless. The Eagles would go down quietly in the bottom of the first, remaining a 0-0 game.

Both pitchers were rolling in the second and no score was recorded. Arroyo worked through the third with no trouble. Stagliano ran into some trouble in the bottom of the third inning with a leadoff walk to the first baseman Chris McKenna (21). The scoring started when center fielder (22) Roman Anthony doubled to drive in McKenna for the Eagles. Later in the inning, catcher (12) Santiago Ordonez doubled to drive in Anthony. The next batter, right fielder Jake Clemente (24) doubled to drive in Ordonez moving the score to 3-0 Douglas.

In the top of the fourth Palm Beach Gardens fought back with a lead-off walk and a home run from Hylton to bring the score to 3-2. The next batter hit a double, though Arroyo would retire the next two batters. He would then surrender the Eagles lead on a single with two outs. The inning would end but the damage was done and the game was tied in the fourth.

In the top of the fifth inning, Arroyo would strike out the lead-off hitter, but he would surrender a walk and a single. Derek Rodriguez (2) entered on the mound with one out and two runners on for the Eagles. He walked the next batter to load the bases. Rodriguez would retire the next batter to get two outs. The next batter would walk to drive in a run moving the score to 4-3 in favor of Palm Beach Gardens.

There was very little action until the top of the 7th inning. Now pitching for the Eagles was Sam Bier (5), who would allow the first three batters to get on base, loading the bases with no outs. Beir escaped the inning by getting a strikeout, ground-out and a final strikeout to hold the score to 4-3.

In the bottom of the 7th inning, the Eagles season was in jeopardy after the runs they had conceded, if they can score one run, the game is tied, and if they score two or more they win.

Rylan Lugo (14) pinch hit for McKenna to lead off the inning, a bunt single would start the inning strong. Shortstop Devin Fitzgerald (9) would hit next and would sacrifice bunt Lugo over to 2nd base. Roman Anthony would fly to left to make it two outs. With one out to go up stepped third baseman Gavin Conticello. In a 1-2 count, he ripped a double to left to tie the game. With the game now tied, Santiago Ordenez stepped up to the plate.

“Before I stepped up to the plate I was thinking to get a barrel and score the run anyway possible,” Ordonez said.

He would blast a 2 run home run to walk off the game and send the Eagles to States.