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Gators score three in first, then hold on to defeat Red Knights

Island Coast remains unbeaten

March 20, 2018
By PETE SISK ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Somehow the breaks go your way when you're hot, and against you when you're not.

Right now the Island Coast Gators are hot, while the North Fort Myers Red Knights not so much. Island Coast remained unbeaten Friday with a 3-2 win at North Fort Myers.

The Gators lead District 6A-11 at 9-0, 6-0 in the district.

For North (6-5, 4-4), Friday's loss was the end of an 0-3 week that included two district losses to Island Coast.

Coach Clint Montgomery's Gators were able to take advantage of some unusual wildness in the first inning from North pitcher Peyton Bourque to score all three of their runs without a hit. Three walks, two hit batters and a balk call gave the Gators a 3-0 advantage before the Red Knights' first at-bat.

"It was a good win for us," Montgomery said. "We thought this would be the toughest challenge of the year for us with Bourque on the mound. It turned out to be that, but we got lucky in that first inning. He wasn't himself in the first inning."

"Three walks in the first inning," North coach Mark Rose said. "We had a call here and there, but that didn't lose the game. We gave it away with a couple of errors and the walks."

Those would be the only runs the Gators would score. Pitcher Josh Morales and the Island Coast defense saw to it that those three runs would be enough.

"That was a good job by our pitcher," Montgomery said. "He threw a lot of strikes. That was the difference, that he could keep his pitch count down and finish the game."

North plated two runs in the bottom of the third on RBI singles from Nick Roch and Bryce Adkins.

The breaks went against North in the fourth, with two runners cut down on the bases. Toby Robbins was out trying to steal second just before RJ Tejeda tripled. Tejeda then was out at third when Island Coast shortstop Christian Odio fielded a grounder and threw home. Tejeda was out trying to get back to third base.

"We always look for three cheap outs a game," Montgomery said, "if you can pick off runners and stuff like that."

The Red Knights had two runners on in the fifth but couldn't score, and the game ended on a line drive out to center with a man aboard.

"We started out the year 5-0," Rose said. "It's always easy when things are going good. Since then 1-5. I'm trying to preach to these guys to show character in the tough times. If we can grow from this, we're fine when it comes to the season. It's still early."

Rose inferred that he wasn't happy to see some frayed nerves on display at game's end.

"I want to show class when we win and when we lose."

North Fort Myers plays Groveland South Lake on Monday, and Island Coast faces Groveland on Tuesday.



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