Baseball: International pays back defending champ Gateway with 16-0 rout

International senior shortstop Brian Benavides (left) gets ready to apply a tag to a sliding David Busch from Gateway on Friday at West Sunset Playground. (Photo by Devin Chen)

By Josh Levine

International High School got a taste of redemption and clobbered reigning Bay Counties League Central champion Gateway 16-0 on Tuesday at West Sunset Playground, in a rematch of last season’s league championship game.

The Jaguars (10-3, 4-0) stole 12 bases and all nine starters scored at least one run.

International junior starting pitcher Jordan Malik sends a pitch toward the plate against Gateway on Tuesday at West Sunset Playground. (Photo by Devin Chen)

“This was not a revenge game for us today. We are just trying to be consistent and get better,” said International head coach Anthony Thomas. “As we learned last year, we need to win that final game and every other game is about improving to get ready for that game.”

The Gators (5-6, 3-2) struggled throughout, committing four errors and three balks that resulted in two runs. Starting pitcher David Busch allowed eight runs in 4 1/3 innings.

“We didn’t play our best today,” said Gateway captain Daniel Galvez. “But like the defending champions we are, we will bounce back on Friday [in our next game against International].”

Jordan Malik started the game for the Jaguars and pitched five scoreless innings while striking out six and allowing three hits.

“Malik is our steady pitcher and he has some excellent breaking pitches,” Thomas said. “But we really did a great job with our hit-and-runs, bunting and everything else fundamental today. It’s great when we do these things in practice, but it’s even better to see it done in a game.”

The two teams face off in a rematch Friday at Big Rec.

“They are a good team, but we beat them in the championship,” Galvez said. “They came out hard against us and it was very emotional today. We need to continue improving every day over this season and get ready for another championship run.”

Scoring Summary

First Inning
I – Devin Conroy singles, Griffin Wurzelbacher scores

Second Inning
I – Noah Morton singles, Jacob Bogdanov scores

Third Inning
I – Jordan Malik doubles, Brian Benavides and Bogdanov score
I – Gavin Hughes singles, Malik scores
I – Wurzelbacher grounds out, Hughes scores

Fifth Inning
I – Morton singles, Hughes scores
I – Wurzelbacher singles, Maxwell Drolet scores
I – Wurzelbacher scores on a balk

Sixth Inning
I – Clay Bloszies scores on a balk
I – Hughes singles, Malik scores
I – Wurzelbacher hit by pitch, Hughes scores
I – Conroy doubles, Morton, Drolet and Wurzelbacher
I – Benavides grounds out, Conroy scores

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