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Monarch Bats Overwhelm Deerfield Beach

The Knights' bats proved too much.

Monarch got the season off on the right foot in dominating fashion by taking a 16-1 win over host Deerfield Beach in the season opener Monday.

“I’m proud of the way they came out tonight with a lot of energy,” Manager Joe Franco said. “This was the last opening game for the seniors, and we didn’t want to go out on a losing note.”

The top of the first brought three runs for the Knights on two doubles, both hit almost identically to the left-center gap, one by third baseman Gino Poliandro and the other by right fielder Troy Brannen, whose extra base hit brought in two runs. After the two doubles, two walks and an error, the Knights had scored three runs. Monarch added one run in the second, two in the third and 10 in the top of the sixth.

Poliandro hit a scorching two-run home run, and Brannen hit a three-run bomb of his own to left field, both at the top of the sixth.

On the defensive end, Franco’s team was firing on all cylinders. The Knights played well all around, with two players standing out the most. First baseman Nick Alonzo had more than one terrific pick to complete outs. He made a fine diving grab in foul territory in the bottom of the second and another one on a grounder assisted by the pitcher for a 3-1 out in the third.

Freshman catcher Sean Schulte displayed brilliance of his own more than once behind the plate as he used his body to block in-the-dirt pitches more than once, preventing the Bucks from scoring or runners to advance.

“Our catcher is a freshman. He’s doing a great job defensively,” Franco said. “We really stress defense. Without defense, you’re not going to win games, I’m really proud of the way [the team] played defense tonight.”

The game featured great all-around defensive play for the Knights.

The Knights’ pitching had a solid outing, firing strikes consistently, throwing opportune pitches to get itself out of jams and allowing only one run and few walks as they kept the Bucks’ hitters off balance.

Anthony Morales [starting pitcher] threw strikes, Brenan Bosworth pitched strikes and kept us in the game, and Matt Rumpf, a freshman coming in the end, throwing strikes and getting three outs.”

The Deerfield Beach Bucks seemed unable to put any kind of rally together as the game wore on. The team kept their

spirits high until the top of the sixth inning, when the Knights’ offence proved too much.

“We didn’t do many things well tonight,” Assistant Coach Craig Sheets said. “We didn’t make the right plays in the right situation. We have to dig deep. We need more baseball saviness.”

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