MINNEOLA — Daniel Marinacci and Keegan Jay Zinn had two hits apiece and combined for three RBIs Thursday to back the three-hit pitching of Parker Fenton in Lake Minneola’s 4-2 win against Real Life Christian Academy.
The win — the Hawks’ ninth in their last 10 games — was the 500th career victory for Lake Minneola coach Kerry Whetro.
Marinacci broke up a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning with a single to right that scored Jo Jo Smiley and Zinn, who had singled to open the inning against Real Life southpaw Max Kurtz. Lake Minneola — which improved to 15-6 — added an insurance run in the fifth when Hunter French on a single to left by Zinn.
That was more than enough run support for Fenton. The senior lefthander limited the Raptors to only one hit through the first five innings while striking out 10 in that span.
Real Life (11-5) scratched out a run in the sixth with Noah Clymer ripped a two-out triple and scored on a wild pitch. The Raptors added their final run in the seventh when Gavin Hawkins scored on a ground out to second.
Lake Minneola pounded out 13 hits against Kurtz, who fell to 5-2 on the season. The Raptors’ senior started strong, limiting the Hawks to two singles through two innings, but the Hawks began to figure him out as the game wore on.
Fenton, however, was dominant from the start. Despite tiring in the final two innings, Fenton retired 12 in a row, including third out of the second inning and through the first two outs of the sixth.
With the win, Fenton improved to 4-3.
In addition to Marinacci and Zinn, Jesse Johnson and French also had two hits for the Hawks. Each starter in the Lake Minneola offensive lineup — Marinacci was the designated hitter for Fenton — had at least one hit.
For Real Life, freshman Walker Gibson had the Raptors only other hit.
After the game, Whetro was honored for his career accomplishment. He is just the second coach in Lake County history — Leesburg’s legendary coach Buddy Lowe was the first — to achieve his 500th win at one of the county’s public schools.
He was presented with a jersey with the number 500, along with a banner, acknowledging the landmark.
Whetro accomplished his 500th win in his 30th season as a head coach and 39th as either an assistant or head coach. He is in his third season at Lake Minneola, where has compiled a 39-19 record.
Next up for Real Life is a road game Tuesday against Winter Park Geneva. The Raptors will then wrap up the regular season Thursday against Leesburg at BIshop Field in Clermont.
Thursday’s win was Lake Minneola’s final home game of the regular season. The Hawks will travel to Orlando Thursday to face First Academy before wrapping up the regular April 23rd at Ocoee.