South Plantation’s Offense Propels Paladins Past Bucks
The South Plantation Paladins gave Manager Kendrick Gomez his first district win an 8-3 victory over a Deerfield Beach team that wasn’t quite able to put together the offense it needed to overcome an aggressive South Plantation team.
“It’s my first district win,” Gomez said. “It’s something good for me but I want to win for these guys.”
South Plantation performed well and with consistency the entire game both offensively and defensively and succeeded in keeping the Bucks of balance.
Defensively, the Paladins’ pitching allowed three runs on four hits, walked three batters, struck out five and kept the majority of the outs in the infield. Catcher Brian Llorente showed leadership qualities handling his pitcher, as well as contributing to the Paladin cause with a hit and a double of his own.
“This year we are going to upset a few teams with our pitching and our defense,” said Llorente. He also added that the team will gel better as all the players continue to buy into Coach Gomez’s system.
With only one error, South Plantation played an almost flawless defensive game and gave the Bucks very few opportunities to rally.
“We made plays all over the infield,” said Gomez. “Steven Seager has been amazing at first base, he’s a 10th-grader and has been picking up anything that goes his way, he’s a vacuum cleaner!”
On the offensive end, the Paladins came out swinging right out of the gate, producing four runs in the top half of the first inning and one run in each of the second, third, fourth and sixth innings, respectively.
A few of the Paladins hitters produced more than one hit. Left fielder Sal Rodriguez had a big night, with a walk, two doubles and solo home-run, all to right field. Third baseman Dustin Birchall had an RBI double in the second inning, a base hit and a stolen base in the third. First baseman Steven Seager had an RBI sac fly in the first, another RBI courtesy of a base hit to left, and a double on a towering fly to left-center that carried well all the way to the fence.
“I’m learning from the seniors. They’re the primary leaders,” said Seager. “We have younger guys who are coming up, and I feel it’s my responsibility to guide them.”
The Bucks for their part showed energy and determination on the field but it would not be enough as they just could not produce the key hits, leaving a runner stranded in every inning until the fifth.
“We just didn’t come to play tonight,” said Bucks Manager Scott Bragg. “After a big week, we were uncharacteristically flat tonight.”