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Early Offensive Outburts Propel Alonso To 9A Regional Finals

The Alonso Ravens and Palm Harbor University Hurricanes squared off Tuesday in the 9A regional semifinals. The Ravens took an early 5-0 lead at home and, behind a stellar pitching performance from Jordan Butler, held on to beat the Hurricanes 8-1 and advance to the regional finals.

Mike Paule led the Ravens (23-6) at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and three RBIs. With the score already 2-0 in favor of the Ravens, Paule sent the first pitch he saw deep into left field for a double, scoring Jonathan Cruz, Jose Circcarello and Kevin Velez to clear the bases and increase the lead to 5-0.

“We had a lot of quality at-bats tonight,” Ravens manager Landy Faedo said. “Mike Paule was big for us tonight, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs.”

Butler started the game and went six strong innings. He threw 95 pitches and allowed just one run on one hit and two walks, and struck out nine in the victory.

John Pinchman drove in the only run for the Hurricanes (17-11) on a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the fourth. Kyle Bailey and AJ Hrica were the only other Hurricanes’ to reach base on the night as their bats were stymied all night.

The Ravens added to their lead in the fifth. Paule came around to score on a passed ball and then a two-out double from Mason Turner scored Ryan Drumheller from second for the 7-1 lead. Ryan Mejia scored the final run for the Ravens in the sixth. Mejia ended the night going 3-for-4 with a run scored.

With the score now 8-1, Ryan Fernandez came in to relieve Butler on the mound in the seventh. He needed only 12 pitches to retire the side, striking out two in the process and securing the regional semifinal victory.

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