Bulls plate three in seventh, top Alonso 3-2

Bloomingdale junior Eli Davidson struck out eight and holding Alonso to two runs across his six innings of work, before the Bulls rallied with three runs to walk-off a win (813Preps file photo).

By Brandon Wright, Features Writer

VALRICO – Perhaps Bloomingdale starter Eli Davidson summed it up best.

“Man,” he said. “That was so much fun.”

Davidson went six strong but the Bloomingdale offense stole the show, plating three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to complete a 3-2 comeback win against visiting Alonso Friday night.

“Any time you win in Hillsborough County it’s awesome, and to beat a really good team like Alonso any way you do it is awesome,” Bloomingdale coach Kris Wilken said.

Not only did the Bulls push across three late runs, they did so despite some stacked odds. Bloomingdale got a quick out to lead off the home-half of the seventh and the improbable rally started with the bottom three hitters in the order.

“That’s what started it all, the bottom of the lineup,” Wilken said. “They were just grinding out at bats.”

With Alonso starter Bryan Rivera cruising into the final inning, the Ravens got the first out when Dawson Rankin slipped out of the box on an attempted drag bunt and was tagged near the plate.
But that would be the last out Alonso recorded on the night.

Vinny Dinzeo got clipped on the top of the foot by a Rivera breaking pitch, ending his night. Alonso coach Landy Faedo went to his bullpen, bringing in Vincent Antuna. But the junior righty walked AJ Cruz on a 10-pitch at bat and the spark was lit.

“Yeah, I knew (I was coming out) and I tried to fight it,” Rivera said. “But he’s the coach and has the decision at the end of the day, so I can’t fight it.”

Johnny De La Rosa then ripped an RBI single to right, Pierce Collins drew another walk to load the bases and the Ravens turned to Julian Batista. But Cooper Hinson greeted him with a game-tying RBI single to left and Alex Vazquez put a bow on the comeback, taking ball four high to bring home the winning run.

“It was just that one inning,” Rivera said. “And that’s how baseball works. One inning can kill you. Nothing we can do about it except bounce back.”

Alonso took an early lead, scoring a pair in the second. Roberto Rivera’s RBI single to left that eluded a diving De La Rosa gave Alonso the lead, and Austin Kirsch came home from third on an errant pickoff attempt at first.

But after a rocky second, Davidson settled in. The junior righty scattered four hits, punched out eight and walked just one.

“I threw a lot of sliders in the beginning of the game and after the first time around the lineup, I switched to my split finger which was working pretty good,” Davidson said. “I struggled in the second but my team picked me up. The rest of the game I was feeling good.”

Bryan Rivera, who hadn’t pitched in a couple weeks due to arm fatigue, was every bit as strong, giving up six hits while allowing just two runners to reach third.

Drew Williams picked up the win in relief, facing the minimum in the seventh.

“Kudos to my kids because they kept grinding and kudos to their pitching staff for doing a great job,” Wilken said. “Happy to have a win.”

Bloomingdale (13-7) has now won four-out-of-its-last-five, while Alonso (14-8) has lost four of six.


Bloomingdale 3, Alonso 2

A 020|000|0 – |2|5|1
B 000|000|3 – |3|7|1
W – Williams; L – Antuna
2B – Hinson, Rankin (B). Records – A (14-8); B (13-7).