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Boca Lions Storm To Victory In June B 16U Championship

The 2017 HSBN Boys of Summer June B 16U champion Boca Lions.

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The Boca Lions delivered a champion’s effort to claim the tournament title in Saturday’s HSBN Boys of Summer June B 16U championship at Len Koch Field in Hollywood. The Lions supplied plenty of offense behind a quality start from left-hander Patrick Declemente, and also made several big plays on defense to roll to an 11-6 victory over the West Boca Panthers.

Both teams also earned a berth into the HSBN Boys of Summer Champions Tournament at the end of July.

The Lions (4-0) took control early on, and then broke things open with the deciding runs during a five-run fifth inning. Frank Hernandez delivered the biggest dagger with a single with the bases loaded that drove in all three base runners. The Lions filled up the bags as Justin Cooper, Declemente and Brooks Lamb all walked. Cooper scored on a wild pitch, Cam Baillargeon was then hit by a pitch and Griffin Unger worked an RBI walk to bring up Hernandez. The third baseman slashed a liner past a crashing defense as the lead runner attempted to steal home to send the ball rolling slowly into a vacated hole in the defense.

Boca added some insurance in the final two frames. Cooper reached and scored on a pair of errors in the sixth, before the Lions added three more runs in the seventh. Unger walked and gave way to courtesy-runner Brandon Rachlin, Hernandez was hit by a pitch and Cameron Moss reached on an error that loaded the bases. Nick Delgardio plated Rachlin the hard way by getting hit by a pitch, a wild pitch brought in Hernandez and Michael Greff supplied a sac-fly RBI that drove in Moss for an 11-1 lead with three outs remaining in the game.

The 2017 HSBN Boys of Summer June B 16U Runners-Up West Boca Panthers.

The Panthers (3-1) refused to go quietly and battled to their final out. They were held scoreless early on, and were unable to plate any runners with bases loaded in the fifth when Baillargeon snared a liner up the middle and stepped on second for the unassisted, inning-ending double play. But Brendan Esposito finally got West Boca on the scoreboard with one big swing in the sixth, connecting for a solo home run deep to left field.

With the pitch count rising on the southpaw, Declemente, the Panthers attempted a furious rally in the bottom of the seventh. Nicholas Chanerco and Walker Dillard both singled, before Zach Weissman and Addison Nguyen followed with consecutive RBI singles. Nick Rubino then lined a single back off the pitcher, and Esposito came through again with an RBI single that drove in Weissman. Nguyen scored off a passed ball and Robert Stallone kept it going with an infield grounder that went for an RBI ground out.

Brooks Lamb relieved Declemente and recorded the final two outs, the last coming on an infield grounder to Baillargeon. Baillargeon doubled and scored on an error that gave the Lions the lead in the first, and Lamb walked and later scored on a passed ball in the third.

West Boca right-hander Walker Dillard delivered a quality start in allowing two unearned runs in four innings. He allowed three hits and three walks and struck out two.

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