LEHIGH ACRES — Estero overwhelmed Lely in every facet of the game, winning easily, 14-1 to capture the Class 5A-District 14 championship on Friday night at Lehigh.
Pitcher Zeke Pietrzyk dominated, striking out 10 Lely batters while giving up just two hits.
Two five-run innings told the story as Estero rapped out 14 hits, using bloop singles and long balls to score runs. Lely helped some too, committing five errors, two wild pitches and three passed balls, with most leading to runs.
Pietrzyk also contributed two doubles and plated four runs.
The Wildcats ended the scoring in the top of seventh with five runs on four hits, including a triple by Wesley Pruitt and a monstrous three-run home run by Ryan Keegan over the center- field wall. Those runs came off Corey Tucker in relief of losing pitcher Jesus Palacios.
Lely scored its only run in the bottom of the sixth. Joey Irigoyen singled, went to second base on Estero’s only error, moved to third base on a David Oliger single and scored on Palacios’ sacrifice fly to center field.
Jason Moore mopped up for Estero, pitching the seventh inning.
“I started off with fastballs and went off speed a little more in the middle of the game,” Pietrzyk said. “With a big lead I went back to fastballs.”
Coach Frank Turco was very pleased with his team, although he said he probably was more nervous than they were about the game.
“Going into the game even the other coach (Jason Duesler) felt like his team was the underdog since we have won (district) before.” he said, “I was tight, but our kids played loose.”
With the win, Estero begins regional play Thursday at home against Cypress Lake, which edged Cape Coral, 5-4, on Friday night.
“It is nice to have the home advantage in front of our fans,” he said.
Lely continues on, traveling to Cypress Lake on Thursday.
“The season is not over. We can come back to win,” Duesler said. “Good pitching was the key. Their pitcher kept us off balance all night. Our pitcher (Palacios) did a decent job, but lapses in defense hurt us, along with not putting the ball in play.”
ESTERO 14, LELY 1
Estero 1 0 5 0 1 2 5 — 14 14 1
Lely 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 — 1 3 5
Estero — Petrzyk, Moore (7) to Ayala. Lely — Palacios, Tucker (7) to Biagetti. WP — Pietrzyk; LP — Palacios. 2B — Pietrzyk 2 (E), 3B — Pruitt (E). HR — Keegan (E).