Coral Springs Charter Walks Off Pine Crest In 18 Innings
Baseball fans around Broward County will be talking about this game for a long time. It is no secret thata 5A-14 is one of the most competitive districts in Florida, and Monday night’s quarterfinal between Coral Springs Charter and Pine Crest delivered the most epic installment yet. The two teams waged a war of attrition, slugging it out like relentless heavyweights in an 18-inning showdown at North Broward Prep.
After seeing the scoring drought finally end with a run in the top of the 18th, Coral Springs Charter struck last and walked off with a 3-2 victory. Corbin Tsistanis drew a bases-loaded, RBI walk that drove in Matt Magrann with the deciding run.
“Not in all my years have I ever seen anything like that,” Coral Springs Charter manager Tom Magrann said. “Both teams made mistakes, but there were a lot of great plays throughout the game as well. It was one of those games that you hate to see anybody lose, but between the mistakes and the great plays it was a heck of a ball game.”
Coral Springs Charter survives to advance into the semifinals against the district top seed, Pompano Beach. The winner of that meeting will play for the district title, while also earning a berth in the regional state playoffs.
Trailing by a run heading into the bottom of the 18th inning, Charter quickly loaded the bases to stave off elimination. Jonathan Confresi walked, Matt Magrann singled to left and Alex Figueroa connected for a base hit to right field. Coach Magrann then gambled and it paid off, as Matt Kavanaugh executed a suicide-squeeze, RBI bunt that tied things back up. Joey Campbell then reached on an error that brought Tsistanis up for the final at bat out of 128 official at bats on the night.
“Our pitchers pitched lights-out,” Coach Magrann said. “They are a scrappy team and we threw a lot of strikes, and they did get a lot of hits and had their chances, but our pitchers kept making pitches and giving us a shot. Then we made a bunch of great defensive plays with our infield in, throughout the game. They threw their lefty against us and we couldn’t hit tonight, but they played some pretty good defense against us as well. It was that kind of a night.”
Pitching on both side was outstanding. Starter Chris Kahler went the first seven innings for Charter, allowing one earned run on five hits and four walks, while recording six strikeouts. Jason Chandilall went six scoreless frames with eight strikeouts, Carl Lassalle was next with two clean frames and Joey Campbell earned the victory after going the final three.
Pine Crest had just as many arms that got the job done. Jake Solomon carried his team through the first eight innings, allowing an earned run on four hits with seven strikeouts. Antonio Correa then went the following six frames and piled up five strikeouts.