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University School Sends Message With 3-0 Win Over West Boca

If any program wants to make an early season impression, one way to do it is to beat one of the top pitchers in their area. On Thursday night, University School did just that in their home opener, defeating West Boca 3-0.

The Bulls came into the game riding a high after pounding out nine hits and 19 runs in their own opener against Palm Beach Gardens. They also sent senior James Litman, and his career 1.72 ERA to the mound.

Litman did not disappoint, allowing only three runs in five innings of work.

University School, however, had an answer, with junior Landon Petty taking the hill. Petty matched Litman pitch for pitch, allowing only no runs, and only two hits in his five innings.

“Landon had a great night out there on the mound,” said Sharks Manager Dan Rovetto. “He was very efficient, only throwing 57 pitches. We knew this was going to be a tight game with Litman on the mound for them, and Landon competed like we expected he would.”

With both teams struggling to get anything going offensively, and runs at a premium, University broke through in the second inning by playing some fundamental small ball. Mark Manuel led off the inning with a single. After a strikeout, Manuel moved to second on a bunt single by Devin Mila. That set up Isaac Rosa to drop a perfectly executed safety squeeze, giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead.

The score held that way until the fourth, when back-to-back RBI singles put the Sharks up 3-0. That would be all they would need on this night, as Matthew Greenberg came in and closed the game out with two innings of shutout ball.

The win for University starts what could be a big week of revenge baseball. Last year, West Boca beat the Sharks 6-0.

“I really felt tonight was a big night in terms of showing the progress we have made since we started the program back up after Covid,” said Rovetto. “Last year, we went to West Boca and I didn’t think we really competed, so to play the way we did tonight is encouraging, and a big step for the program.”

The win came against one of the coaches that Rovetto has tremendous respect for in South Florida.

“Jerry Albert is a class guy that coaches his players not only on the field, but is a great mentor off the field. I have nothing but respect for the way he runs his program, and to compete against them like we did tonight was good to see.”

Up next for the Sharks, is another team that defeated them in 2023, Coral Springs.

“We will see what kind of momentum we can take into that game tomorrow against another team that beat us last year. Tonight was a good start to our season, and I look forward to seeing what the rest of the season has in store for us.”

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