Tuesday night the Western Wildcats traveled to Pembroke Pines to play against the Flanagan Falcons in the 9A District 12 semifinals, hosted at Flanagan High School. During the regular season, the Falcons came out on top both times the two teams faced off and went a perfect 8-0 within their district. The Falcons threw their ace Nicholas MacDonald (7-1) against the Wildcats’ Richard Medina (2-2). Ironically, the two pitchers faced off in the regular season, and Flanagan won that game 4-3 on March 1.
Although both pitchers threw well all game long, MacDonald never got the run support that he needed from his offense and the two runs that the Wildcats managed were enough to knock off the #30 team in the nation (per PerfectGame), and get a chance to play against West Broward on Thursday for the district championship.
Although the Wildcats had three hits in the first inning, they were unable to capitalize when MacDonald struck out Christian Coleman with runners on first and second to eliminate the threat. Flanagan only managed one hit in the first two innings, a single by Edward Schissler, but were unable to do any damage.Brannigan Hart led off the third inning with a single to centerfield. Later in the inning, with one out, Ryan Smith doubled to left field bringing around Hart to score the game’s first run. With Smith on second, MacDonald intentionally walked David Flores, tied for first on the team in hits and second in home runs, to set up first and second for Christian Coleman. MacDonald was able to get out of the jam by forcing Coleman to ground out to first base to end the inning.
Brannigan Hart led off the third inning with a single to centerfield. Later in the inning, with one out, Ryan Smith doubled to left field bringing around Hart to score the game’s first run. With Smith on second, MacDonald intentionally walked David Flores, tied for first on the team in hits and second in home runs, to set up first and second for Christian Coleman. MacDonald was able to get out of the jam by forcing Coleman to ground out to first base to end the inning.
In that same inning, the Falcons had a chance to tie or take the lead but failed to do so. Arrison Perez led off the inning with a single and Eric Rivera followed suit. The pair advanced to second and third on a passed ball setting up two runners in scoring position for Flanagan with just one out. Medina recognized the danger and promptly struck out Ricky Presno and Peter Moforis, escaping the inning unscathed.
The very next inning the Falcons were once again unable to put any runs on the board despite being in the position to do so. With two outs, Edward Schissler took first base following a controversial catcher interference call. Medina walked the next batter, Alex Hernandez, to set up first and second for Arrison Perez. Andy Epstein pinch ran for Hernandez and Perez proceeded to hit a routine ground ball to the shortstop who could not come up with the ball, loading the bases. Again, Medina escaped a very dangerous situation, sitting down Tyler Evans to end the inning. In the top of the seventh inning, the Wildcats managed an insurance run to increase their lead to two runs. Flanagan looked to be in good shape after Arrison Perez led off with a single to left, but the Falcons were unable to move him over. Medina sat down the next three batters he faced and the Wildcats completed their upset of the Falcons, 2-0. During both meetings during the regular season, the West Broward Bobcats got the best of the Wildcats. West Broward is fresh off of a win over the second place Cypress Bay Lightning to put them in the district championship game. With the top two teams in the district already eliminated, Thursday’s matchup should be a good one, with both teams having nothing to lose, and everything to gain.