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Florida Revenge Wins June A 18U Championship

The 2018 HSBN Boys of Summer June B 18U champion Florida Revenge.

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Over the past few summers the Florida Revenge has found itself close to an HSBN tournament title, and Tuesday night the team finally broke through for a championship victory. Behind a complete-game performance from Robert Weintraub and a lot of early offense, the Revenge earned a 6-2 victory over FS Baseball in the HSBN Boys of Summer June A 18U finale at Len Koch Field in Hollywood.

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

Weintraub was outstanding, punctuated best in how he ended five of the seven frames with a swinging strikeout. The right-hander saved his best stuff for the very end, holding off one final comeback bid in the top of the seventh. Jony Vasallo laced a double deep to left field to start the inning, and Nathaniel Ruiz singled for runners on the corners. Weintraub dug deep and answered back by striking out the next three batters to close out the victory for the Revenge (3-0). He finished with nine strikeouts, while allowing one earned run on three hits and a walk. He also hit two batters.

Early in the action came a frightening moment, when FS starter Dylan Rodriguez was caught by a line drive sent right back at him in the bottom of the first. Andre Juhasz singled with two outs, and Duilio Baltodano’s screamer went right back at the pitcher, knocking him to the ground. The game result of that moment was that the ball then ricocheted away from the defense for a base hit, which then allowed Greg Stavrinos to give the Revenge the early 1-0 lead with an RBI single.

The Boys of Summer June A 18U runners-up FS Baseball.

The strike also took Dylan out of the action, stung but fortunately appearing to have avoided any major injuries. He was taken to an area hospital for further evaluation.

Before leaving the field, Dylan simply encouraged his teammates to rally and win for him. Although unable to take the victory, the wounded pitcher can rest well knowing his guys fought to the last swing for him. No one hung their heads and both sides honored him by playing clean and quality baseball.

After capitalizing following the scare, the Revenge tacked on a pair of runs in the second. Kyle Steele singled to left and stole second, and Nolan Dery was then hit by a pitch to join him on the bases. Chad Allen followed with a flare into shallow right field for an RBI single, and Dery later scored as well.

FS Baseball (2-1) answered back to get on the scoreboard in the third. Maikol Rodriguez manufactured the run after getting hit by a pitch, stealing second and then swiping third and coming home on a throwing error.

The Revenge got that run back with an unearned run of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Alex Stavrinos lined a single into the right-center gap, advanced on a passed ball and then came home on a throwing error.

Robert Weintraub went the distance for the complete-game victory for the Florida Revenge.

An inning later the Revenge added their final two runs. Allen again singled to right and advanced on a wild pitch, Juhasz walked, and Allen then scored as Baltodano reached on an error. Greg Stavrinos was next with a single and Logan Wilcox reached on a fielder’s choice that erased Juhasz at home. A passed ball then gave Baltodano the chance to cross the plate to make it a 6-1 advantage.

One nice swing of the bat from Marcus Garcia leading off the top of the fifth helped get the momentum back in FS Baseball’s favor. Garcia stroked a solo home run to left field leading off the frame to help keep his guys in the action, while also breaking up the no-hit bid.

Weintraub retired the next batters in order to regain the momentum and take things into the final inning.

After losing their starter so early on, the FS bullpen did a solid job in relief. Johnathan Poldo was a workhorse for one more inning, Jordan Naranjo did not allow an earned run over two-and-and-a-third innings and Nathaniel Ruiz tossed two scoreless frames to give the offense its chances to come back.

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