American Heritage-Delray’s Carsten Finnvold and Saint John Paul II Academy’s Gavin Adams entered Tuesday’s potential pitcher’s duel with ERAs below one.
Adams emerged victorious, holding the Stallions scoreless for more than six innings in a 6-0 district victory in Boca Raton.
“It felt really good actually, beating Heritage,” Adams said. “Every year, we’re kind of looking up to them. They’re looking up to us this year. It’s relieving. It feels nice.”
Adams worked 6 1/3 innings in the shutout victory, giving up five hits while striking out seven batters. He got one out in the sixth inning but gave up a hard double to American Heritage-Delray’s Dylan King. Kevin Freshcorn relieved him and got a game-ending double play.
“[Adams has] just been throwing great all season for us,” Saint John Paul II Academy coach Peter Graffeo said. “He’s really developed. He took a big stride this summer into this year. He’s worked hard and obviously, it’s paying off for him.”
The Eagles pushed across a manufactured run against Finnvold, a Florida Gators signee, in the second inning. Senior Vincent Carignan walked and reached second on a sacrifice bunt. He stole third base, and on the same pitch, senior JT Salvato struck out on a ball that got past Heritage catcher KC Anchors. Carignan scored on the throw to first base.
Saint John Paul II did its real damage in the third inning. Finnvold struggled with his command, walking three batters in the inning, and the Eagles took advantage. Saint John Paul II scored two runs on a single by Bryan Blasiolil, one run each on singles by Tommy Melvin and Dom Rivera and another run on a throwing error by Anchors.
The inning ended with the Eagles holding a commanding 6-0 lead. They only managed two baserunners against the Stallions’ bullpen, but the damage was done.
“Once we got that lead,” Adams said, “it was just like, ‘It’s on me now. Can’t let them come back. [I’ve] got to dominate.’ ”