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West Orange Times & Observer Friday, Apr. 27, 2018 6 months ago

Walk-off ends regular season on positive note for West Orange baseball | Observer Preps

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Anthony Garcia's walk-off single lifted the Warriors past Winter Park in their regular season finale, 4-3.
by: Steven Ryzewski Senior Sports Editor

The opportunity for a big moment presented itself for West Orange sophomore shortstop Anthony Garcia in the Warriors' final game of the regular season.

Garcia came up with two outs and a runner on second base in the bottom of the seventh inning April 26, with the Warriors and visiting Winter Park knotted at 3-3.

Garcia, who is a varsity newcomer and has been the starting shortstop for West Orange all spring, delivered with an RBI-single that gave the Warriors (12-13) a 4-3 win over the Wildcats.

"We told (Garcia) to be ready for the big spot," head coach Graig Smith said. "He said 'Coach, I'm ready.' He got in the position and he showed us exactly what we were looking for there."

West Orange had jumped out to an early lead, with Rafael Gutierrez getting the scoring going by driving in two runs on a double in the second inning. The Warriors led 3-0 through four innings, but the Wildcats pushed three runs across in the fifth, setting the stage for what would become a dramatic finish.

For West Orange, it was an important game for momentum going into next week's FHSAA Class 9A, District 3 Tournament at Apopka High. The Warriors, the No. 3 seed, will face No. 2 Olympia in a semifinal game at 4:30 p.m. May 2 — the winner will advance to the district final and regional playoffs and extend its season for another week, at least.

"For us, we've had a lot of adversity this year — these guys continue to work hard every day and continue to rise up above it," Smith said. "We showed (tonight) we never give up. For us, momentum-wise going in to districts, this is what we've been working toward all year."

Steven Ryzewski is the Senior Sports Editor for ObserverPreps.com, as well as all three of Observer Media Group's print publications in Orange County. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida....

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