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Lazar Moves Coral Springs Past Taravella In 9A-11 Semifinal

Max Lazar threw a complete game for the Colts.

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Max Lazar became the go-to guy on the mound for the Coral Springs Colts as the season wore on.

On Monday afternoon, Lazar once again rewarded a coaching staff that has put its faith in the lanky right-hander with a complete-game, 3-1 victory over crosstown rival Taravella in the 9A-11 semifinals.

“Max was a bulldog today,” said Colts manager Mike Federman. “Coach Cimilluca gave him a game plan and he stuck to it. He’s been getting better as the season progressed. His performance today was huge.”

What was also huge was the Colts getting revenge for two regular-season district losses to the Trojans. All of the four games between the teams in 2016 were battles, and Monday was no different. Lazar and Taravella starter Preston Clark each threw zeroes on the scoreboard through the first three innings.

In the fourth, Coral Springs’ offense finally broke through. John Lombardi led off the inning with a single. Tyler Hall followed with a walk. Darron Brown then dropped a perfectly-executed sacrifice bunt, and when the ball was thrown away, courtesy-runner Nelson Santago came in with the first run of the game. A Nick Volpe single made the score 2-0, and when the Colts executed a first-and-third play, Brown came in with the third run of the inning.

That was all that Lazar needed on this day, as he scattered seven hits, while giving up only a run in the sixth inning. Lazar finished the game with six strikeouts.

For Coral Springs, it moves on o the district championship on Thursday against the winner of the Monarch-Douglas semifinal on Tuesday. The return to the regional playoffs for the Colts comes in Federman’s first season as the Coral Springs manager.

“This has been a special group of kids,” said Federman. “They bought into a new system and it’s been paying off. They play with a lot of heart, grit, and tenacity.”

Even with the win, and advancing to regional play, Federman does not believe the Colts have met their goals yet for the 2016 season.

“On Media Day, we said that we fully expect to be in the district finals this year,” he said. “With that, we knew would come the opportunity to make a regional appearance. Our players are excited for the opportunity. Anything can happen at this point, and they are playing good at the right time.”

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