13Y/O Titans fought toughly to the end at Cy Fair Tourney
Posted by Frederick Chan on Apr 12 2003 at 05:00PM PDT
The K.C. Titans lost to the Houston Miracles by a score of 11-5 in the quarterfinals of the Cy-Fair Lone Star NIT Tournament on Sunday afternoon. Ordinarily, the final score would tell the story of the game, but that was not the case on Sunday. Please read on to understand why. The Miracle drew first blood against starter Grant Haynes in the first inning. Camillo Flores led off the game with a triple to right-center field, and scored with one out on a grounder to second base by Eric Moreno. The Titans retook the lead 2-1 in the bottom of the second inning when Trey Hibbert was hit in the helmet with a fastball, Pat Brosch reached second on a catching error by the left fielder and scored on a throwing error by the shortstop. The Miracle tied the game up in the top of the third inning on a two out error by the centerfielder on a soft liner hit by Camillo Flores and a single by J.D. Delgado, leading to an unearned run. Grant Haynes pitched very well for the first three innings, allowing two runs (only one earned), on two hits while striking out two. He turned the mound over to Paul Knowlton in the 4th. Paul kept the Miracle off the board in the 4th, 5th and 6th innings, recording six strikeouts and giving up only one walk and one runner who reached on a dropped third strike. Even as to that runner, Paul was brilliant, picking him off first base to end the top of the sixth inning. In the Titans half of the sixth inning, Grant Haynes made it to third by legging out a triple he hit deep to center field. With one out, Trey Hibbert hit a pop fly behind second base. The shortstop managed to catch the ball, but Miles Mendelhoff (who ran for Grant at third), dashed home and scored the go ahead run, giving the Titans a 3-2 lead. The Miracle manager complained bitterly to the home plate umpire that Miles left third base too early, but to no avail. This is where things get really spooky. The Miracle had two players on their roster with the last name Sarabia. The 13U coordinator for the Cy-Fair Lone Star NIT Tournament just so happens to have the last name Sarabia, and was sitting behind home plate wearing his Miracle shirt and cap. Between the bottom of the sixth inning and the top of the 7th inning, the home plate umpire could be seen talking to a very animated Mr. Sarabia (the coordinator). Paul Knowlton began pitching the top of the 7th inning. Remember that up to this point in the game, Knowlton recorded just one walk and six strikeouts. After a leadoff double by Eric Moreno, the next four Miracle batters walked, many on balls that were called strikes when thrown to Titans batters. By then, the Miracle had a 4-3 lead, and Paul gave way to Jeffrey Rohrbach. Rohrbach knew he had to throw the ball right down the middle to get any strike call from the home plate umpire. The results were predictable, as the Miracle recorded one walk and four singles to run the score up to 11-3 before Jeremy Schaffer came in to end the carnage on a 4-6 force and a comebacker to the pitcher, 1-3. The Titans refused to give up in their half of the 7th inning. Jared Rothenberg led off with a single to right center field. Charles Mann singled Jared to second, and Jared scored on a Jeffrey Rohrbach grounder to shortstop. Paul Knowlton smacked a double, scoring Charles Mann, and the score was 11-5. Grant Haynes followed with a single, but the game ended on a sizzling liner by Ross Chan to second base, causing Grant to be doubled off of first base. Sour grapes are not a particularly pleasant fruit. However, the facts that have been stated in this report, plus one other fact that must remain unspoken for the present, lead this reporter to conclude, in his opinion, that the Titans were not knocked out of the tournament by a miracle, but rather, that the Miracle did, indeed, have some very useful help from above. Congratulations to the Titans on ending the tournament in the Top 8 of 18 teams who participated in the 13U bracket. Article written by Scott Rothenberg
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