RE Baseball mercy rules Everglades Prep in four innings

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Courtesy of Carl Kafka Photography

Chris Basile ’21 capped off Tuesday’s win with a three-run homer.

The Ransom Everglades baseball team defeated the Everglades Prep Academy Panthers 16-1 in their final home game of the season this past Tuesday, April 20thThis marked their third victory against Everglades Prep this season, will all three wins coming by mercy rule. Starting pitcher James Srebnick ’21 allowed no runs and just one hit in three inningsChris Basile ’21 led the way batting with three runs, capped off by walk-off threerun homer. Nine other batters scored for the Raiders, including three runs from Nick Rubino ’23 and two runs each from Emmet Gershman ’21 and Tommy Fisher ’22. 

“It was definitely one of our most complete efforts of the year from top to bottom. The lineup erupted and the defense was solid,” Basile said. 

Assistant Coach Brandon King acknowledged the hitting performance against the Panthers’ ace. “Our bats were generally alive in this game,” he said. “We had a lot of hard hits.” 

Both teams got off to a rather slow start, with the Raiders leading 1-0 after the first inning. All night long, Everglades Prep did not have any answers to Srebnick’s pitching arsenal 

“My curveball was workingand I was able to command it for a strike,” Srebnick said. “Being able to then follow up with my fastball, which is about 15-20 mph harder, allowed me to really control the game and strike out hitters.” Srebnick, who struck out two batters in the first, also hit an RBI (runs batted in) double that sent Rubino to home plate for the first run of the game. 

Despite the sluggish start, the Raiders scored a flurry of runs in the second inninghighlighted by a two-RBI single by Gershman and a two-RBI double by Jake Martin ’21. Runs from Basile, Gershman, Fisher, Rubino, Lefty Howland ’22 and Justin Saphier ’23 extended the lead to 7-0 after the second inning. 

Srebnick continued his pitching dominance in the third inning, bringing his strikeout total to eight before sitting the rest of the night. However, the Raiders were unable to capitalize, and the score remained 7-0 after a timely pitching change by the Panthers. 

The fourth and final inning featured home runs from each team, with the Panthers scoring their only run of the game on a solo home run. Once the teams switched sides, however, the Raiders’ onslaught continued. They scored six more runs to start the inning. Then, with two runners on base, Basile hit the walk-off three-run homer. “I knew it was going to be a home run as soon as he hit it,” King said. 

“James Srebnick whispering to me on the deck circle that I could end the game with one swing helped give me the strength and confidence to end my time on that field with a bang,” Basile said. “When I saw it bounce off the parking lot all I could do was smile and enjoy my last home run trot on the field.” 

The home run put the Raiders up by fifteen runs, forcing the game to be cut short by mercy rule. King expected the game to end before the full seven innings partly because they had already mercy-ruled the Panthers twice in the season, but he also trusted the talent on RE’s roster. “We were supposed to put them away in emphatic fashion, and that’s exactly what we did,” he remarked. 

For the seniors in particular, Tuesday’s game carried extra significance because it was their final time playing on their home field at the Boys and Girls Club of Miami. Basile called the feeling “bittersweet.”  

“Ending my career on the field where I’ve shared countless memories with my brothers over the past seven years is a hard pill to swallow,” Basile explained. “My teammates congratulating me at home plate made me remember why this team means so much to me and why I’ll always consider this group of guys my family.” 

Even in a victory with limited mistakes, the team stillooked for ways to improve on their performance with the district playoffs around the corner. King said the team needs to work on capitalizing on scoring opportunities. “We tend to leave too many runners in scoring positions. I think what will separate us from other good teams will be those key moments,” King explained. 

Srebnick said that getting off to a strong start will help push them to the next level. “Going forward we really need to work on getting our bats alive earlier. When we put the ball in play and start pressuring teams right out of the gate, we can compete with just about anybody.” 

Looking ahead, the Raiders face Riviera Prep, who have just two losses on the season, for a chance at the conference championship this Friday at 7 p.m. Following that, they face Gulliver Prep in the first round of the district playoffs on Monday, April 26th.