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The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Eagle Eye News

The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Eagle Eye News

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Mia Pappalardo
Pitcher Gio Rojas (12) pitches towards West Boca at the second preseason game. Rojas started his first varsity season off by striking out nine of his ten hitters, securing the team in the fourth inning.

MSD Eagles baseball team prepares for season with their last preseason game

Coming back after a season with a record of 27-0 and a consecutive state championship title for a third time, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School men’s varsity baseball team played their second and final preseason game with the pressure looming at home on Thursday, Feb. 15 against the West Boca High School Bulls.

The Eagles train day after day; they even train heavily in their offseason. During the season, the team trains every day after school for several hours a day by conditioning and weight training. Although they may already have the title of state champions 3 times, they are continuing to work as hard towards reaching more.

Starting off the game with a special first pitch was nine-year-old Jackson Parker, a child fighting his battle with leukemia. The team has never done this before but decided as a collective unit to give Parker a special moment.

“This was a special circumstance because the kid’s dad played for me in 2003,” Coach Todd Fitz-Gerald said. “Anytime a young kid you see like that, battling cancer, it helps you realize there are far more greater things in life than a baseball game, and our players need to realize how lucky they are to play this game and not have to go through what Jackson’s going through.”

First on the mound was pitcher Jayden Dubanewicz (27). Finishing his outing, Dubanewicz struck out six of his hitters, giving up three hits and three runs over three innings.

“It felt great getting back on the mound, especially after the dives from last year’s success,” Dubanewicz said.

Pitcher Gio Rojas (12) came in as relief in the fourth inning. Rojas finished his outing by striking out nine out of ten batters he faced.

“The best thing I did in this game was being able to strike everyone out,” Rojas said. “Pitching wise I feel that I did pretty good on my part.”

The Eagles were down 3-2 until the bottom of the sixth inning when shortstop Devin Fitz-Gerald (3) homered to left field, scoring two runs by center fielder Alex Rodriguez (13) and Fitz-Gerald, making the final score 4-3 in favor of the Eagles.

“These are the moments I love being in, in situations where you can change the game or break it open, and thankfully I got a pitch to hit and didn’t miss it, I wasn’t letting myself get beat in that at bat,” T. Fitz-Gerald said. “This moment of the game was electric for our team, especially taking the lead late in the game.”

The team ends their preseason games as they prepare for their first upcoming game of the season. The Eagles look forward to an undefeated season like they accomplished last season. The Eagles start their official season on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at Westminster Academy at 7 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Mia Pappalardo, Reporter
Mia Pappalardo is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. This is her first year on staff. She enjoys doing gymnastics, writing and spending time with her friends and family.  
Carolina Ochoa Lozano, Photo Editor, Humans of MSD Editor
Carolina Ochoa Lozano is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She dances and is a member of the Spanish Club.
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