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Flanagan Wins 9A-12 Championship Over West Broward

Flanagan’s Ricky Presno celebrates at home after his solo home run tied things up in the first inning. [Photo courtesy of Jessica Ricard]

After waiting for days to get on the field for the 9A-12 championship game, the Flanagan Falcons came out swinging to pound their way to victory. Foul weather plagued South Florida for days, forcing the contest to finally be moved to early Saturday morning. Under bright skies and a beautiful day, the Falcons found plenty of offense to pave the way to a championship celebration at Cypress Bay Field in Weston.

Having reached the district title game, both teams already secured a berth into the regional playoffs that begin next week. Flanagan (18-6) will host Coral Springs, while the Bobcats will travel to face 9A-11 champion Douglas.

Ricky Presno’s solo home run in the bottom of the first got Flanagan on the scoreboard, before he then tallied the go-ahead run thanks to an RBI single from Roberto Pena in the third. Pena also added a solo home run as part of a four-run sixth inning that put things away, and he finished 3-for-3 on the day. Presno reached base three times after being hit by a pitch and also working a walk, and he scored three runs.

West Broward’s Alexey Gonzalez celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the seventh. [Photo courtesy of Jessica Ricard]

On the mound, left-handed starter Jeremy Cook delivered four strong innings to earn the victory. Cook struck out eight on 54 total pitches, while allowing two hits and a walk. Nicholas Davila closed out the final three frames to earn himself his third save of the season. The right-hander struck out five and surrendered just two hits, allowing one run on a solo home run from Alexey Gonzalez in the top of the seventh.

Gonzalez was 2-for-4 on the day to account for half of the hits for West Broward (15-6). Just as anxious to finally get playing after two straight days of rainouts, the Bobcats also got the bats started right away. Zach Revilla opened the game with a single to the shortstop, Gonzalez lined a single to center and Nicholas Nystrom was hit by a pitch that loaded the bases. A wild pitch then allowed Revilla to race home and give West Broward the early 1-0 advantage.

Reece Warnock supplied an RBI single in the fifth to double Flanagan’s lead to 3-1, before the flood gates opened up in the sixth. Tyler Evans got it started with a bunt single, Alex Hernandez connected for his second hit of the day on a single to center, and Tyler Epstein plated both runners when he smacked a triple deep to center. Presno delivered a sac-fly RBI that allowed Epstein to cross the plate, before Pena’s home run finished off the scoring with an exclaimation point.

Flanagan’s Jeremy Cook struck out eight in four innings to earn the win. [Photo courtesy of Jessica Ricard]

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