MSD varsity baseball claims a comfortable 5-1 victory over Barron Collier High School

Pitcher Jake Clemente (24) prepares himself up to bat during the first inning of a varsity baseball game.

Sophie Goodman

Pitcher Jake Clemente (24) prepares himself up to bat during the first inning of a varsity baseball game.

David Lopez and Ryan Shimony

On Tuesday, March 8, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School varsity baseball team started a new week of games after beginning the season with a 4-1 record.

The team’s sixth game, against the Barron Collier High School Cougars, started at 6:30 p.m., with the Eagles hoping to claim their fifth consecutive win.

Barron Collier entered the match with a 0-5 record, meaning the Eagles would try to take advantage of the “weaker” competition. However, from the first pitch, the Cougars played a very even match with the Eagles.

The first three innings went scoreless for both teams, with pitching being dominant on both sides. The Eagles were unable to get in stride as several at-bats ended in strikeouts during these few periods.

Finally, in the bottom of the fourth inning, multiple singles put three runners in scoring position for the Eagles. The consistent hitting talent of the Eagles finally revealed itself, with a double clearing the bases to give MSD its first lead of the night, a 3-0 advantage.

Relief pitcher Christian Rodriguez (10) replaced the Eagles’ starting pitcher and had a very strong outing. On multiple occasions, the Cougar’s players were in position to score, yet the Eagles still prevented Barron Collier from getting runs on the scoreboard.

“Making plays that needed to be made was my highlight of the game. We always do what we need to do; go out there, drive in runs, and pitch well,” Rodriguez said.

The momentum gained by the Eagles after scoring continued into the fifth inning, where two early hits gave MSD a chance to grow their lead. A single from outfielder Jake Clemente (24) drove in one of the runners, giving the Eagles a 4-0 lead. Although the Eagles left the bases loaded to end the inning and missed additional opportunities to score, the team was still firmly ahead in the match.

Entering the sixth inning, the Eagles’ pitching staff made their first real mistake in an otherwise consistent evening. Allowing multiple runners on base with no outs, MSD was in serious risk of losing their 4-0 advantage.

After giving up their first run of the night, the Eagles’ pitching was much stronger, closing out the inning with multiple strikeouts to end the Cougar’s resistance.

“We threw strikes and stayed under control, doing what we do to keep them off the board,” pitcher Rylan Lujo (14) said.

After adding an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Eagles’ lead stood at 5-1. MSD needed a strong closing performance by their pitchers to ensure their victory. With Lujo closing out the inning comfortably, the Eagles closed off with a 5-1 victory.

Their record now stands at 5-1. The Eagles will stay at home to face West Broward High School on Thursday, March 10 at 6:30 p.m. and hope to continue their five-game winning streak.