CLEWISTON– The Clewiston High School Tigers varsity baseball team is 6-1 following their 9-3 win over the Lake Placid Dragons on March 8 at Sugarland Park.
The game was tied 1-1 until an offensive explosion in the bottom of the fourth by the Tigers put them up big over the Dragons. With the bases loaded and no outs sophomore Romeo Rodriguez brought in two runs with a perfect hit into shallow center field.
Junior Fabian Villagomez followed that up with a RBI single of his own. Then a wild pitch by the Dragons with the bases still loaded brought in two more Clewiston runs. Finally, senior Jessiah Cruz brought in another run with a deep, fly ball into left field.
What had been a close game for four innings quickly turned into a lopsided 7-1 lead for the Tigers.
Lake Placid managed a small rally in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs before the Clewiston defense could shut them down. But sophomore Gabriel Rangel got those runs right back when he hit a two RBI triple in the bottom of the sixth.
Junior pitcher Easton Bellew pitched a complete game with only 1 earned run against the Dragons. Senior Roldan Milian hit two for three with three stolen bases and two runs scored.
The Tigers have now won four straight with wins over Avon Park, Lely, and Immokalee in the last two weeks.
The victory over Lely was an 11-0 shutout that saw Samuel McDuffie score five RBIs off of three hits, one being a homerun. Senior Devin Autrey had two RBIs that night against Lely.
The win on March 8 kickstarts a three-game homestand for the Tigers at Sugarland Park. On March 10 Clewiston hosts the 3-5 Benjamin Buccaneers at 5 p.m. and on March 12 they host the undefeated 8-0 Lemon Bay Manta Rays at 7 p.m.
Lemon Bay is responsible for Clewiston’s only loss of the season, an 18-9 blowout on Feb. 24.
Lemon Bay’s offense has been unstoppable for most of the season, and their defensive play has been suffocating. In fact, those nine runs scored by Clewiston were the most Lemon Bay had given up all season. The two teams scored evenly for most of the game, but an 11-run inning in the second by the Manta Ray’s was too much for the Tigers to overcome.
Clewiston will have to limit their mistakes during the rematch with the Manta Rays to give themselves the best shot at upsetting the Lemon Bay’s perfect season.