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One big inning helps Wellington earn win

By FRANK PASTOR

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 19, 2001


TAMPA -- Lake Mary's Adam Sanabria held West Palm Beach Wellington hitless for three nnings. But the second time through the order proved much more troublesome.

Wellington touched Sanabria for three hits and a sacrifice fly during a two-run fourth, giving the Wolverines all of the runs they needed in a 2-1 victory. "Me coming up my second time, I was much more confident," said Wellington shortstop Andy Lambert, whose single set up Chuck Jeroloman's game-winning sacrifice fly.

Wellington (26-9) advanced to its third state final in nine seasons. The Wolverines finished as 4A runners-up in 1993 and won the 6A title in '99.

"They know how the game is supposed to be played, and they played it correctly today," said Wellington coach Scott Benedict, whose team turned three double plays.

Lake Mary (27-7) had chances, getting runners into scoring position early. But Kyle Bono was doubled off second by centerfielder Freddy Guzman in the second, and Matt Mergo was stranded at third in the third.

"(Wellington) capitalized on the one inning," Lake Mary coach Allen Tuttle said. "And we didn't capitalize on the one inning."

* * *

HIALEAH 2, VENICE 1: In the biggest games, it is almost uncanny how the smallest aspects of baseball often make the difference.

For Hialeah, it was pickoffs, extra bases and a perfect bunt that made the difference in a win over Venice. Thanks to the little things, the Thoroughbreds now have a chance for their first big prize since 1969.

With the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Miguel Colina drew a one-out walk. Then on a wild pitch by Arnold Hughey, he took not one but two bases. Chris Lopez plated Colina with a squeeze bunt. "Our coaching staff told the team that most likely, while they're here in the final four, it's going to come down to a play like that; a hit and run, a steal, a squeeze," Hialeah coach Richard Bielski said.

While Hialeah (24-7) mastered small ball, Venice (23-11) was plagued by mistakes. In the second, third and fifth innings, Indian runners were eliminated by a pickoff, popped-bunt double play and caught stealing.

Camilo Vazquez then retired the final six Indians. The junior left-hander, who arrived from Cuba two years ago and played for the Cuban junior national team, scattered five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. - JOHN SCHWARB

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