Viera tops Pine Ridge to earn rematch with Melbourne


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Viera High senior Eric Allen threw a complete game, allowing just two hits, as the Hawks defeated Pine Ridge 8-1 in the Class 7A regional quarterfinals.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

It looks like the Viera High baseball team will be seeing the Melbourne Bulldogs one more time after all.

Senior Eric Allen threw a complete game two-hitter Wednesday night as the Hawks went to Deltona and defeated Pine Ridge 8-1 in the Class 7A regional quarterfinals.

That win earned the Hawks (20-8) a spot in the regional semifinals  against rival Melbourne (20-7) Saturday night at 7 at Melbourne.

It will be the fourth time this season the two teams have met, the last being in the district championship game, which Melbourne won 4-0.

The Hawks are no doubt hoping for a reversal of last season when they beat the Bulldog for the district title, but lost to Melbourne in the regional semis.

In order for that chance to happen, Melbourne had to defeat New Smyrna Beach (which it did, 1-0) and the Hawks had to get past the District 5 champions.

That’s where Allen came in. The right-hander struck out four and the run scored against him was unearned.

Offensively, the Hawks had 10 hits and after taking a 2-1 lead in the second inning, they broke the game open with a four-run third inning.

Alan Espinal had a double, a triple and two RBIs for Viera. Connor Leary went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. JT Smith had a double and an RBI.

Edian Espinal went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base. Luke Brown had a hit, stole a base and scored two runs. Zach Taylor also had an RBI.

“Great win for us last night,” Viera coach Bob Doty wrote in an email. “Eric Allen pitched a gem.”