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Alberro's walk-off single lifts Tritons over Bulldogs

May 8, 2019
By PETE SISK ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

It was one of those situations every ball player dreams about.

Two out, two on, tie game in extra innings.

This was Lou Alberro's moment.

Article Photos


Mariner senior Louis Alberro (23) watches his game-winning hit land in right field, sending the Tritons into the District 6A-11 championship game. To view more photos from the game, see the Cape Coral Breeze Facebook page.

The Mariner High School senior stroked an opposite-field single to right that eluded a diving Austin Crothers, driving in Alex Freeland with the winning run. The Tritons got past Ida Baker 10-9 in eight innings to reach the District 6A-11 championship game Thursday night.

Mariner will be home against third-seeded Island Coast, which traveled up to Port Charlotte and beat the Pirates 3-1 in Tuesday's other semifinal.

With two out and nobody on, the Bulldogs intentionally walked Freeland. When Logan Wilsker was called for a balk, sending Freeland to second, Ida Baker intentionally walked Gavin Walker.

That brought Alberro to the plate. With a 2-2 count, he took his teammates into the district title game.

"It felt good," Alberro said. "Just a little bit of pressure.

"I felt like it was my time to bring my team up."

Tuesday's extra-innings duel was three games in one. The first part looked like a Mariner laugher, with the Tritons (23-4) scoring seven times in the bottom of the first and leading 9-1 through four innings.

Then the tables turned, and it looked like the joke might be on Mariner.

The Bulldogs, with third pitcher Blake Donnelly managing to keep the Mariner bats in check, staged a stunning comeback.

Ida Baker scored four times in the fifth, but leaving the bases loaded. In the sixth, they scored four more.

The Bulldogs nearly took the lead, but AJ Marinello was caught in a rundown between first and second just before Crothers crossed the plate.

"Shoot, man. Hats off to those guys," Tritons' coach Tom Woodley said. "They battled back and never quit."

Donnelly, who came in to start the bottom of the second, pitched five innings for Ida Baker. He allowed two runs in the fourth, but left the bases loaded. In his last three innings, Donnelly allowed only one baserunner.

"Incredible," Bulldogs' coach Robert Lawrence said. "Most he's thrown all year. He gave us a chance to get back into it."

"Baker's a great ball club and they gave us everything that we could handle," Woodley said.

Freeland, Mariner's fourth pitcher of the night, pitched two perfect innings for the win. He struck out the side in the top of the eighth.

"We have to do a better job of finishing off a ball game," Woodley said. "Call us the Cardiac Kids or whatever you want to call us. They make it hard sometimes.

"We have to be better at playing a complete ball game. We cannot keep waiting until the last inning."

Tritons' starter Jimmy Meredith held Ida Baker to one run over the first four innings, but ran out of gas in the fifth. Three Mariner pitchers combined to give up eight runs in the fifth and sixth.

Pitching woes were Ida Baker's problem as the game began. The first five Mariner batters reached base. Two Bulldogs pitchers allowed seven runs in the inning, including Meredith's two-RBi double.

Alberro had three hits and a walk, driving in a run in the bottom of the fourth as well as his walk-off hit in the eighth.

"I love these guys," Alberro said. "These guys are great ball players. They hustle. Every day."

"He's a senior," Woodley said. "He's struggled lately. But we knew that his swing's been good. He had two, three hits tonight. He's done a good job."

Freeland scored three times.

"Coach Lawrence and those guys are doing a great job with that team," Woodley said of the Bulldogs.

"We had four teams in the semifinals (Mariner, Ida Baker, Island Coast and Port Charlotte), if you pull up our region, that's four of the best teams in the region.

"Baker, to win 10 of of their last 11 games coming into this, it sucks that it has to end this way."

Jarred Pinto scored three times and drove in a run for Ida Baker. Tucker Mixon had two hits and and two RBI, and Carson McNeely had a two-run single in the fifth inning.

"This group has a lot to be proud of," Lawrence said. "An amazing group of young men who battled adversity all season."

Island Coast 3, Port Charlotte 1: The Gators (19-7) upended the second-seeded Pirates to earn a trip to the state Class 6A playoffs. On Thursday, they face Mariner for a shot at the District 6A-11 championship and a home game for the first round the playoffs. Island Coast handed Mariner its only district loss this year during the regular season.

District 4A-5

Bishop Verot 4, Gateway Charter 1: The Vikings earned their way to Thursday's district championship, where they will face Sarasota Cardinal Mooney. Matt Johnston homered and drove in two of Bishop Verot's four runs. Andrew Pflieger, who doubled, had Verot's other two RBI. The Vikings (13-12) were held to three hits by the Griffins, but made the most of their opportunities. Joseph Hobson pitched 6 2/3 innings for the Vikings, allowing one run and striking out nine.

Cardinal Mooney 6, Oasis 0: Cardinal Mooney (20-8) broke open a scoreless tie with four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, adding single runs in the fifth and sixth. The Cougars, undefeated in District 4A-5 play this season, will be the home team on Bishop Verot's field in Thursday's championship game.


State playoffs

Class 6A Region 3

Region quarterfinals

All games 7 p.m.

Tonight's games

Lely at North Fort Myers

Mariner at Immokalee

Class 4A Region 3

Region semifinals

All games 7 p.m.

Thursday May 9

King's Academy at Bishop Verot

Oasis at Oxbridge Academy



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