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Paladins Prime Hold Off Revenge For July C 18U Title

The 2018 HSBN Boys of Summer July C 18U champion Paladins Prime.

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The Paladins Prime rallied back to victory to earn their second straight championship in the 2018 HSBN Boys of Summer tournaments, as they held on for a 6-5 victory over the Florida Revenge Wednesday night in the July C 18U title game at Len Koch Field. The Paladins also won the June B tournament crown, while the Revenge claimed the June A championship. Both clubs already earned a berth in the Champions Tournament at the end of July.

Wednesday night’s finale came after the Revenge (3-2) took a 7-6 victory in the first game of the double-elimination bracket, forcing a decisive second game. The two sides held each other scoreless through the first half of the action, combating in an even tug-of-war throughout.

A four-run fifth inning erased a two-run deficit to give the Paladins (3-1) the lead, and a pair of runs in the sixth were the difference. Robert Fernandes then came on for a 1-2-3 seventh to close things out and preserve the victory with his first save of the summer.

The first two batters of the fifth singled to get things going for the Paladins, as Jacob Cruz connected for a single to right field and Ethan Schaefer followed with an infield single. Fernandes then walked to load the bases, and a wild pitch scored Cruz for the Paladins’ first run of the night. Next Gianni Romanello hit into a fielder’s choice that erased the runner at second but extended the inning when Romanello reached on an error that plated two base runners. Juan Gomez then lined an RBI single up the middle to make it a 4-2 advantage.

The HSBN Boys of Summer July C 18U Runners-Up Florida Revenge.

Schaefer helped get things going again for the winning runs in the sixth. The second baseman singled to right and advanced around the bases following a pair of passed balls, then scored on an RBI single to left from Zachary Koehler. A stolen base and a passed ball moved Koehler around the bases, and Sebastian Rodriguez drove him in with a fielder’s choice RBI ground out.

Rodriguez also earned the victory, allowing two unearned runs on two hits and two walks. He struck out four in four innings of work.

The Revenge broke up the stalemate to get the scoring going in the bottom of the fourth. Chad Allen walked, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch to get things started. Andre Juhasz walked and Duilio Baltodano was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Logan Wilcox hit into a fielder’s choice that drove in Allen. A passed ball then brought in Juhasz for a 2-0 lead.

After falling behind, the Revenge battled back to stay in the fight with three runs in the sixth. Allen doubled to right, Juhasz walked and Diovanni Mateo drove a base hit back off the pitcher to load the bags. Baltodano supplied a sac-fly RBI to bring in Allen, and a throwing error later allowed two more runs to come across the plate to make it a one-run ball game.

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