Blanco, Plant walk it off in 10th inning of slugfest with Alonso


Plant's Jac Caglionone stares down his two-run home run in the third inning. The sophomore finished the night 2-for-4 with five RBI, twice tying the game before the Panthers went on to claim a 9-8 win in 10 innings.

By Jarrett Guthrie, editor

TAMPA – Plant’s baseball players fell behind from the start, then twice answered the call, tying a home game against Alonso, forcing extra-innings, and then got to come pouring out of the dugout to celebrate junior Reece Blanco’s RBI, walk-off single through the left side finishing the Panthers 9-8 win in the 10th inning.

“What a moment to have," Blanco said, "when you are up there in the situation where you have to do what you have to do to make something happen.”


Plant (10-4) was on the other side of a walk-off last week, dropping a district tilt at Steinbrenner in its previous game, so it was nice to reverse things according to senior Carson Richards, who paced the Panthers hitters with a 4-for-4 night at the plate.

“This one definitely feels good,” Richards said. “It’s always great to come from behind, grind your way back, get back in it and eventually come away with the win.”

“That’s just baseball for you. One week you are getting walked-off, the next one you are winning games in the bottom of the 10th.”

Alonso (6-6) took control from the start scoring four, first-inning runs, keyed by a leadoff double by Renzo Gonzalez, and RBI singles by Conor McNair and Riley Morgado. The Ravens batted around on Plant starting pitcher, lefty Jac Cagilanone, forcing the sophomore from the game early.

Even though a Panthers’ error meant the four runs were all unearned, it was a forgettable appearance on the mound for Caglianone, who allowed three hits and walked three in just two-thirds of an inning.

Plant senior Carson Richards breaks out of the box for a single in the fourth inning. Richards, hitting in the nine-hole, finished 4-for-4 on night with a double and a run scored. 
However, he wasn’t done participating once he left the mound as Caglianone, Sam Nation and J.D. Urso drove in runs in a good response inning in the home first, where the Panthers cut the lead to a run. He then stepped to the plate in the third and bashed his first home run of the season to right field to tie the game at five. Urso followed with a double and Blanco picked up his first RBI with a single to give his team a lead.

The lead was short lived as Alonso was up to the offensive challenge on the night and Gonzalez evened the score with his second homer of the year.


The Ravens pulled ahead in the seventh as Drew Lara (who was 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles) blasted a two-run home run the opposite way over the right field fence.


But Plant wasn’t finished as senior Carson Richards (4-for-4) led off the seventh with a double and Gabe Rincones added a one-out walk to put a pair on, and Caglianone certainly wasn’t finished continuing his productive night at the plate with RBI’s No. 4 & 5 to force extra innings.

“I knew not to let the pitching part of the game get to me,” Caglianone said. “I know that there are two completely different parts of this game, honestly my team kept fighting, got bunts down, and I got to be just a part of an overall great team win.”

In the home 10th, Matt Coker (who earned the win on the mound working five innings of relief) was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a job-well-done sac bunt by Sam Meade, and scored the game-ender as Blanco skipped his single through the left side of the infield.


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