By: Matt Rothman
The quest for a third straight State Championship began this week for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas baseball team, winning their 11 straight District Championship.
It was also the 500th win for Head Coach Todd Fitz-Gerald, who got to win it with his younger son Devin Fitz-Gerald after recording his 400th with Hunter Fitz-Gerald in 2019.
“They have been on a mission all year and the last two nights have been truly special,” Todd Fitz-Gerald said. “I can’t thank my coaches and players enough. Without them I am nothing. They work tirelessly to be great.”
The Eagles beat Monarch High School on Tuesday in the semifinals and Boca Raton Community High School on Wednesday.
Monarch gave MSD a battle in the first game, but the Eagles scored eight runs from the fourth to the sixth innings to win their 23rd straight game. Christian Rodriguez shined once again, allowing only one hit in 5.1 innings. Gavin Gargiulo recorded the five outs, with the Eagles striking out 11 hitters.
Offensively, Devin homered while Nikko Benestad had two RBIs. Matt Ossenfort and Rodriguez also knocked in Eagles, with Rylan Lujo scoring three of the team’s eight runs.
MSD then went on to dominate in the final, defeating Boca Raton Community High School 12-1. MSD hit four home runs in the first two innings from Devin, Rodriguez, Benestad, and Ossenfort. Dillon Moquin also added an RBI, while Jayden Dubanewicz earned the win, allowing one run in three innings. Luke Cherry tossed the final two innings in relief before the game ended due to run rule.
Next, MSD will head into Regionals five wins away from a State Championship. They will be the top seed in the Region with their number two ranking in the country and are currently 24-0 this season. The Eagles will play once again play Monarch in the first round on Wednesday at 7 p.m. with the winner taking on either J.P. Taravella or Western High School. Columbus, West Broward, South Dade and Boca Raton Community high School are also in their region.
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- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism and then graduated from the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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