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Flanagan Wins Regional Opener In Dramatic Fashion

Arrison Perez tossed three shutout innings in relief to earn the victory for the Falcons. [Photo courtesy of Jessica Ricard].

Alex Hernandez delivered an RBI double to center field to drive in Tyler Evans in the bottom of the tenth inning, giving Flanagan a 3-2, walk-off victory over Coral Springs in a 9A regional quarterfinal on Tuesday night. Evans walked with one out in the tenth, and two batters later Hernandez came through with the winning hit that next has the Falcons (19-6) back at home to host Douglas in a regional semifinal next week.

Runs were at a premium in the contest, with two of the area’s top hurlers facing off in Coral Springs’ Max Lazar and Flanagan’s Jeremy Cook. The bullpens continued that theme even after the starters left the action, with Falcons reliever Arrison Perez picking up the victory thanks to three perfect innings in which he recorded six strikeouts. Perez spelled right-hander Nicholas Davila, who rescued Cook to get the final two outs in the third inning and then went on to throw four more shutout frames with eight strikeouts.

Coral Springs (17-8) got to Cook in the third to take a 2-0 lead. Sean Baran doubled to left and Nick Volpe was hit by a pitch, before an infield error allowed John Lombardi to reach safely to load the bases. Gavin Levy then lined an RBI single to right field and Matt LeConte worked an RBI walk.

Max Lazar struck out six in six innings for Coral Springs. [Photo courtesy of Jessica Ricard].

Ricky Presno helped cut that deficit in half an inning later, as he tripled with two outs in the third and scored thanks to an RBI single from Roberto Pena. Two innings later Flanagan evened things back up, as Tyler Evans drove a shot to center field for a two-out double and then crossed the plate when Arrison Perez reached on an error.

Lazar dug in to induce an infield groundout that ended the fifth, and then tossed a perfect 1-2-3 sixth inning to finish off his outing. The right-hander allowed one earned run on seven hits and two walks, and also hit a batter. He struck out six to raise his county-leading total to 113 for the season.

Austin Smith went the rest of the way for Coral Springs. He struck out three while allowing two hits and three walks to take the loss.

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