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Right fielder Nick Diaz (11) runs to catch ball thrown to the out field. The eagles secured a win of 7-1 in this game against the Saint John Neumann Celtics.

MSD Eagles Baseball Team secures victory on Senior Night against Saint John Neumann

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School men’s varsity baseball team played one of their last regular season home games for senior night at the Anthony Rizzo Field on Tuesday, April 24. They ultimately won 7-1.

As it was senior night, all thirteen seniors on the team walked out with their family as they received recognition for their years on the team. Four of the seniors一first basemen Niko Benestad (6), third basemen Rylan Lujo (14), center fielder Alex Rodriguez(13) and shortstop Devin Fitz-Gerald (3)一have been on the team for all their four years of high school and were acknowledged for that as well. All senior hitters were given the opportunity to hit as it was their special night.

After the senior night ceremony, the team warmed up to play Saint John Neumann High Celtics School at 6:30 p.m. The Celtics came in as third in rankings in the state of Florida.

“We try to avoid what the media says, as our coach always reminds us. We must put in the effort at the games to succeed, and that’s the mindset we came in with for this game,” Fitz-Gerald said.

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To start off the game, the Eagles started with pitcher Jayden Dubanewicz (27) on the mound. In the first inning, neither team was able to put a point on the scoreboard, the score remained 0-0.

At the top of the second inning, Dubanewicz struck out his first hitter, resulting in the Celtics having their first out. In the second inning, the ball was thrown to Benestad at first base before the hitter was able to step on the base. At just the third at bat, the ball was caught by Fitz-Gerald, which allowed the Eagles to get ready to hit.

Rodriguez was at bat for the Eagles and singled shortly after stealing second base while Fitz-Gerald was at bat. Fitz-Gerald got a walk to first and Rodriguez remained at second.

Lujo was up next, but Rodriguez got caught stealing third base. Lujo got a walk to first, and Fitz-Gerald moved to second. As Benestad hit into a fielder’s choice, Lujo moved to second base and Fitz-Gerald to third base. However, the inning ended when outfielder Bennett Gary (4) flew out, marking the third out and stranding the runners.

“We could have done better in hitting in the first two innings but we were good in the outfield and infield, we knew we had to come back stronger for hitting in the next inning,” Rodriguez said.

The Celtics were the first to score in the second inning, having the score be 1-0.

The Eagles came back strong with a triple by Rodriguez, followed by a home run to right field by Fitz-Gerald. This made the score 2-1 in favor of the Eagles.

“This home run was very special to me as it was my senior night, I knew I needed to help my team at that moment. I gave the home run ball to my mom after the game,” Fitz-Gerald said.

In the start of the fourth inning, Dubanewicz struck out the first hitter.. This was followed by the second hitter getting a walk to first after a hit by pitch. The third hitter for the Celtics popped out in foul territory to first basemen Benestad. The Celtics get their last out after shortstop Jason Neal (21) flew out to center field in the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Eagles got their three out on the first three hits by pitcher Gavin Gargulio (8), catcher Ethan Askin (28), and second baseman Erick Torres (2).

Quickly after, in the top of the fifth inning, the Eagles’ offense gathered themselves, catching three fly outs in the first three hits.

The Eagles came back strong in the bottom of the fifth inning in the first hit; Rodriguez received a walk to first followed with two singles by Lujo and D. Fitz-Gerald. Gary hit a single that advanced Rodriguez and sent D. Fitz-Gerald home, scoring two more points for the Eagles.

Right Fielder Nick Diaz (11) at bat hitting a single allowed Lujo to score and Gary to advance to second.

Gargulio then moved to bat, but bunting. Gargulio reached on an error by the pitcher to advance to second; Gary scored and Diaz moved to third. Secondbasemen Michael Ossenfort at bat sacrifices to the pitcher receiving an out and Diaz scores. The Eagles received their last out of the inning with Gargulio being caught trying to make it home.

At the top of the sixth inning, the Eagles quickly gave their opponents their three outs in the first three hits.

At the bottom of the sixth inning, Second baseman Riley Mudlin (26) came in and got a walk by pitch to first. Then, Rodriguez came to bat, which resulted in a double play, where Muldin got out advancing to second, as well as Rodriguez. The Eagles then had two outs.

With Fitz-Gerald to first by a hit by pitch, Lujo got out hitting to shortstop in a fly out.

In the seventh and final inning came in Brayden McCluskey (5) as a relief for Dubaniewicz and struck out his three first hitters, allowing the Eagles to score a victory of 7-1.

“We had a really good game and I think we are coming back after a rough mid season, but all we need to do is keep our heads in the game to secure states, which is always our goal,” Rodriguez said.

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About the Contributors
Brynn Schwartz
Brynn Schwartz, Associate Editor-in-Chief
Brynn Schwartz is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the Associate Editor-in-Chief for news, sports and politics. She is the Newspaper Representative for Quill and Scroll and a member of National Honor Society. She enjoys discussing politics, listening to music and hanging out with her friends.
Carolina Ochoa Lozano
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.
Mia Pappalardo
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.  
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