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4A-14 Playoff Preview: Somerset Just Needs One

Somerset Academy is on top of a rare three-team district playoff scenario in 4A-14, but North Miami Beach is going to do its best to play spoiler.

Let’s take a look at each team’s prospects.

4A-14 District Playoff Schedule

Location: Pembroke Shores Park

Semifinals – Tuesday (5/2)

No. 2 North Miami Beach vs. No. 3 Hallandale @ 3:30 p.m.

Finals – Wednesday (5/3)

No. 1 Somerset Academy vs. Winner (North Miami Beach-Hallandale) @ 3:30 p.m.

Hallandale Team Page

The Chargers are 5-5 on the year and compete well against similar programs, but the district tournament might be a learning experience for them this year.

A pair of wins to close out the regular season is encouraging, though. Maybe Hallandale can make some magic happen.

North Miami Beach – Team Page

North Miami Beach also goes by the Chargers, so it will be a battle of the same name in the district semifinals. These Chargers came up a win short of a district championship last season, and there is a clear path to redemption this year.

Senior Jesus Rodriguez has been a workhorse for North Miami Beach, striking out 58 over 46.2 innings. If the Chargers can save him for the district championship against Somerset, then they might have a shot at the title. Offensively, juniors Brian Almeida and Jefferson Frias have put together 20-hit seasons and have a combined 45 RBIs.

If all the pieces can come together, this could be the year for North Miami Beach. Somerset won’t go down easily, though.

Somerset Academy – Team Page

The Panthers haven’t won a district championship since 2005, but this might be the team’s best chance to get the job done. A three-team district means Somerset is automatically in the championship game, and North Miami Beach will be down at least one arm after playing a quarterfinal.

On the mound, Sebastian Valdez is the team workhorse and has 30.1 innings under his belt. He’s struck out 38 and walked just 14 while maintaining a 3.46 ERA. Kevin Martinez is the team’s most commonly used relief arm with 13 appearances. Jon Mora leads the team in hits with 19, but there’s some pop throughout the lineup. Kenny Mercedes has hit three homers, and David Perez has two and a team-high 15 runs batted in.

Only one team from this team is advancing to the regional tournament, and the Panthers are going to do everything they can to make sure it’s them.

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