Orlando High School Baseball
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West Orange Gives Foundation Its First Loss In O-Town Classic

West Orange 3, Foundation Academy 1 in game one of the O-Town Classic on Monday night at The First Academy.

Box Score

Teams always come gunning for one another during Spring Break tournaments, and often if they have some extra motivation it can fuel them like gasoline to a spark. Coming into the O-Town Classic at The First Academy with a perfect record and a #1 ranking in the Orlando Power Rankings certainly drew a target for the Foundation Academy Lions, and Monday night the West Orange Warriors gave them all that they had to earn a tough, 3-1 victory.

Foundation Academy moves to 10-1 on the season, the last unbeaten in Orlando to finally fall on the season. The Lions’ last loss before that came in last season’s regional final, to eventual state champion Lakeland Christian.

But Monday’s victory did not come easy for West Orange. Oftentimes these matchups can seem like David verse Goliath when a 2A program takes on a 7A team, but this contest quickly proved to be a tug-of-war. The Lions broke a scoreless battle with a run in the bottom of the third, before the Warriors (8-2) answered right back with a three-run fourth inning that was the difference.

The Warriors came up clutch and scored all three runs in the fifth inning.

Brooklyn Hicks got things started for West Orange in the fourth by connecting on an 0-1 offering for a lead-off double to center field, and Lucas Dufresne quickly put runners on the corners with a single to left. Joshua Bell then tied the game with an RBI single to right, and Javier Rivas increased the pressure by loading the bases on a bunt single to third base.

A wild pitch allowed Dufresne to come home with the winning run, and Kas Ocasio provided a valuable insurance run with a sac-fly RBI to right.

Even despite the challenging inning, Foundation Academy manager Dakoda Grove opted to stick with his ace starter, Rylee Gibson. The junior continued to prove why he is so valuable to his club, as he rebounded to close out the game and keep the Lions in the fight. Gibson finished with seven strikeouts on 89 pitches over seven full innings, allowing five hits and two walks.

Rylee Gibson went the distance for the Lions, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks, while recording seven strikeouts.

Foundation Academy got its lone run for a 1-0 lead when Anthony Micelli scored on an error in the third. Micelli led off the frame by drawing a walk, and advanced into scoring position thanks to a single from Joshua Ojeda. Charlie Capozzoli then dropped down a bunt that went for an error that allowed Micelli to cross the plate.

Parker Hohnstock picked up the win on the mound for the Warriors, while Sims McClusky came on to finish things off and preserve the close victory. Hohnstock went the first five innings, allowing three hits and five walks, while recording eight strikeouts. McClusky allowed two hits and struck out one in to scoreless innings that earned him the save.

Foundation Academy gets a chance to move on from the loss quickly, as the Lions take on the Apopka Blue Darters on Tuesday morning in the second day of the O-Town Classic. West Orange also plays again on Tuesday, facing the Oviedo Lions in the night cap.

West Orange and Foundation Academy compete in the O-Town Classic at The First Academy on Monday night. The tournament continues at the school all week long.

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