Broward High School Baseball
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Hollywood Hills Runs Past Stranahan, 5-1

Speedster Brian Acebo scores the first run for Hollywood Hills as they ran past Stranahan High School.

The Hollywood Hills Spartans employed a combination of speed on the base paths and clutch pitching to beat the Stranahan Mighty Dragons 5-1. Playing at home, on Tuesday afternoon, Hollywood Hills used four stolen bases by leadoff hitter Brian Acebo to propel them past the Mighty Dragons.

The Spartans opened the bottom of the first inning with a walk to Acebo. Acebo promptly moved to second on a passed ball. He stole third base and scored on a sacrifice fly  to left by junior second baseman Erik Calderon.

Stranahan attempted to jump right back in the ball game with a sharp single to left field by Logan Castellon and a walk to Jhony Johnson. The Mighty Dragons tried to get their running game going, but were thwarted by Hollywood Hills catcher Andre Palacious. Palacious fired a bullet to cut down Castellon trying to take third base on a steal. This stalled the Mighty Dragons slightly and looked to stop them from having a big inning.

It appeared like the threat was ended with a fly ball to left field with two outs, but after a long run, Acebo was unable to make the catch and Stranahan tied the score at 1-1. Starting right-handed pitcher Chad Wright buckled down after that and got a strikeout to end the inning.

After cruising through the third inning, Wright gave up another base hit to Castellon in the fourth. As he did in the second inning, the catcher Palacious stymied the Mighty Dragons by throwing out the stealing Castellon.

“This game was about momentum,” Chad Wright said. “Andre stopped them dead in their tracks and did not let them get any type of rally going. He was great behind the plate; he called all of my pitches and helped me keep them off balance all game.”

Hollywood Hills (2-4) went ahead to stay in the fourth, as it used a walk, a stolen base, an error and a well-placed squeeze bunt by Miguel Gonzalez to push across a run. The Spartans continued their running and scoring with two more runs in the fifth, and finished the scoring with an additional run in the sixth.

Miguel Gonzalez lays down a perfect bunt to score the Spartans go-ahead run.

Stranahan (0-6) had one more excellent chance to score in the fifth inning when it got the bases loaded with one out. With the pressure on, Wright delivered a high fastball that Jay Urbanik tried to lay down for a squeeze bunt. Wright sprung off the mound and dove to snag the ball before it hit the ground. A toss to first for a double play closed the inning and any threat.

“Like Chad said, this game could have gone either way,” Palacious said. “Chad broke their back with that dive and throw. We didn’t know it was coming, but Chad’s reaction was great and we went into our dugout pumped up.”

Logan Castellon was the hitting star for Stranahan with three sharp base hits. He also registered six strikeouts in four innings of pitching. Along with his four stolen bases, Acebo scored two Spartan runs. Wright was solid on the mound for Hollywood Hills, giving up five total hits and striking out eight while walking only two.

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