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Coral Springs Christian Cruises to Win Over Berean Christian

Coral Springs Christian Crusaders’ starter, Keving Gutierrez struck out three in one inning of work, picking up the win.

The Coral Springs Christian Crusaders jumped out to a nine-run first inning lead and cruised to a 3A District 7 victory over the Berean Christian Bulldogs on Monday afternoon. The Crusaders batted around their order in the first two frames in a game halted after five innings, emerging with the 16-4 win.

Crusaders’ Manager Steve Carp has seen games decided early.

“This was a great team effort. We came out, moved runners and got some big key hits,” Carp said. “If you give a team extra outs in high school baseball, we call it ‘getting motorboated’. It’s happened to us before and today it happened to them.”

The pull of the full moon rising over left field may have been a factor as the seven Bulldogs’ errors were strangely just an inch or two off target from being successful put-outs. If not, the score may have been much closer. A dropped transfer at second nullified a possible double play in a protracted first inning and numerous infield throws were spiked just out of the control of harried infielders on the receiving end.

Lunar inspired or not, the Crusaders were on the march early. Kyle Cattrysse and Timmy Manning walked, and Jordan Small loaded the bases on an infield error. Coby Mayo crushed a low liner between third and short to drive in the first run. Keving Gutierrez dropped in a single in front of the onrushing rightfielder, whose throw home for the force drew his catcher just off the plate. Luis Pagan drew an RBI walk, followed by a sacrifice fly to center by Kohl Cameron.

Mark Robbins extended the uprising by beating an errant throw to first after a dropped third strike. Cattrysse marked his second at-bat of the inning by driving in two more Crusaders with a single up the middle. Cattrysse, running with two out, scored all the way from first on an infield throwing error on Manning’s chopper to the right side. Small doubled, driving in the ninth Crusaders’ run of the inning.

Berean Christian Bulldogs reliever, Michael McCullough delivers a pitch.

Eventual winner Gutierrez registered three strikeouts in the first, working around a walk and an infield error stranding the Bulldogs’ Noah Adams at third base. He was efficient in his first start after rehabbing from a shoulder injury, aware of the 35-pitch limit set by his manager.

“I had a shoulder impingement for five months,” Gutierrez said. “My first outing back, I came out and threw strikes. I’m really happy about it. Hopefully, I’ll get more innings, more outings and a higher pitch count, I guess.”

Sebastian Rodriguez opened the second being hit by a pitch. Pagan walked and Timmy Arce singled to left. An excellent relay by shortstop Adams was thwarted by Rodriguez sliding just below the catcher’s tag. Pagan took third on the throw and scored on a wild pitch. Cameron walked. Arce and Cameron scored on consecutive infield errors. Robbins scored on an RBI 4-6 fielder’s choice off the bat of Manning. Further damage was averted when, with Crusaders on first and second with one out, a routine fly ball to short became an inning-ending, 6-4 double play when the runner wandered too far off second base.

In the Crusaders’ fourth, Robbins walked and scored on an infield throwing error off the bat of Manning. In the fifth, Ruben Guante reached second on a two-base throwing error. Cameron’s single moved Guante to third base, and Robbins brought him home with an infield single for the Crusaders’ sixteenth run.

Guante was happy with his teammates’ play.

“This whole team is a tale, to be honest with you,” said Guante. “With the guys we have and what we’re doing out here. I feel like everybody’s doing their part.”

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