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Welcome to the 13 Y/O Titans - Select !!!
Detail of the tournament to be followed.
To borrow from Charles Dickens, Sunday "was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Well, at least the first part is true. In Sunday tournament action, the 13 year old K.C. Titans squeezed out a dramatic 3-2 win over the tenacious Sugarland Lonestars to post a 3-1 record and win the K.C. Invitational Tournament at beautiful Bayland Park in Southwest Houston. A few hours earlier, the 14 y/o K.C. Titans advanced into the semifinal game of the Round Rock Triple Crown Sports Baseball Tournament with a 3-0 record-- including a win over the #6 ranked 14 year old team in the State of Texas-- but couldn't quite make it to the finals, losing 9-2 to the Austin Slam Astros. In Round Rock, the Slam Astros capitalized on several wind blown high pops and some questionable Titan fielding to tally five runs on five "hits" and one error. In the second inning, the Slam Astros loaded the bases and emptied them with three unearned runs when a ground ball skidded past the waiting second baseman. That made the score 8-0, and with an excellent pitcher on the mound for Austin, one sensed that the Titans were climbing up a steep hill all game long. The Titans got one run back in the top of the 4th when Joe Silver launched a pitch over the left field fence, cutting the lead to 8-1. However, the Slam Astros countered with a solo home run off reliever Daniel Rothenberg in the bottom of the frame on a hanging curveball that may still be hanging in the wind near Williamsberg, Texas. The Titans closed out the scoring in the 6th inning on a leadoff double by Daniel Rothenberg, who advanced to third on a fielder's choice ground ball to short by Beau Faulk and scored on a fielder's choice ground ball to short by George Murphy. Brian Borski had a great game at the plate, posting a three for three day (all singles). The only other offense that the Titans could muster against the Slam Astros ace pitcher were scattered doubles by Daniel Rothenberg, Cameron Brown, Brett Gibson and Joe Silver's home run. Daniel Rothenberg did a pretty good job in a long-relief role, allowing only one earned run (the one that is still being tracked on some GPS devices), on 4 hits with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts against a very potent Slam Astro offense. With the loss, the Titans' record moved to 3-1 in the tournament, in which they scored a total of 31 runs in their three wins. While the team was disappointed not to bring home the big trophy, the weekend was a success overall. Turning to the K.C. 13 year olds, they say that there is nothing like home cooking. The 13 y/o Titans stayed at home this weekend and earned first place trophies by posting a 3-1 record, including a thrilling 3-2 win in a nailbiter finale against the Sugarland Lonestars. The game was so exciting that it deserves more than the usual recap. In the top of the first inning, Titan pitcher Jeremy Schaffer gave up a leadoff double, but then stranded the runner at third on a sacrifice fly to centerfield and back-to-back strikeouts of the Lonestars' usually potent #3 and cleanup hitters. In the bottom of the first, Charles Mann singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but could not score when Lonestar pitcher Ross Miller clamped down and got three successive outs. In the top of the second, the Lonestars could manage only a walk and a stolen base off Jeremy Schaffer, but no runs. In the bottom of the second, Trey Hibbert walked with one out, but was picked off first by the crafty Lonestar pitcher. This was a critical play, since Jeremy Schaffer followed with a double to left-centerfield. Even though the Titans could not push a run across in the 2nd inning, Trey would definitely atone for this one later in the game. In the top of the third, Jeremy Schaffer did his best Randy Johnson impression, getting the Lonestars on a fielder's choice ground ball, a strikeout, and a perfect strike from Pat Brosch to Grant Haynes to nail the Lonestar's runner attempting to steal second base. In the bottom of the third, Colin Bear reached base on an error and Charles Mann doubled him to third base. However, Ross Miller clamped down and got three successive Titans on a foul out to the catcher, a fly out to the shortstop and a foul out to the first baseman. In the top of the fourth, a tiring Jeremy Schaffer struck out the first batter, and walked the second. The Lonestars #2 hitter, Ross Seaton blasted a hard ground ball to Jared Rothenberg at first who fielded the ball on his knees and threw to Ross Chan at short for the force out. This would prove to be a crucial play since the Lonestars followed by loading the bases on a single and a walk. Then, with two outs and the bases loaded, #5 hitter Ryan Burnaman hit a fly ball to shallow left fielder. As the Lonestar runners were rounding third and heading home, left fielder Paul Knowlton sacrificed his body and dived for the fly ball, sliding his glove under the sinking white sphere just before it hit the ground. Despite a hard collision with the turf, Knowlton managed to hang onto the ball for the third out of the inning. Somehow, the Titans managed to keep the Lonestars off the board yet again. In the bottom of the 4th, the Titans loaded the bases with 2 outs on a walk to Jeremy Schaffer, a single to left field by Jared Rothenberg and a Colin Bear hit-by-pitch. However, a hard ground ball by Charles Mann that might have gotten through the infield struck Colin Bear between first and second base, and he was called out for interference. Thus, the game remained scoreless after 4 innings of play. In the top of the 5th inning, Charles Mann came on to relieve Jeremy Schaffer. With two outs, the Lonestars threatened again, putting runners on second and third on a single and a double. Charles Mann induced Ryan Smith to ground out to second to end the inning. The score in the middle of 5 innings of play was still 0-0. In the bottom of the 5th inning, the Titans erupted for 3 huge runs. With one out, Paul Knowlton singled, Grant Haynes was hit by a pitch, and Ross Chan chased them both home with a booming triple to right-centerfield. Trey Hibbert drove home what would ultimately prove to be the winning run with a sacrifice fly to center field. The score after 5 innings of play, Titans 3, Lonestars 0. The Lonestars broke onto the scoreboard in the 6th inning. With one out, Alan Hoover singled, Trace Cryer was hit by a pitch, Ross Seaton walked, and Taylor Overbey drove in Hoover with a single. Grant Haynes came in to pitch with one out and the bases loaded. He got Drew Owen to fly out to center field, scoring Trace Cryer to make the score 3-2. Grant struck out Ryan Burnaman to finally end the inning. The score in the middle of 6 was Titans 3 - Lonestars 2. In the bottom of the 6th inning, the Titans went down quietly on three successive infield ground balls. Thus, they went to the top of the 7th clinging to a slight 3-2 lead. Grant Haynes continued his masterful relief in the 7th, striking out the first batter, Will Parisi, on a 2-2 curveball. Tyler McGrath hit a high, wind-blown foul fly down the first base line. First baseman, Jared Rothenberg sacrificed his body, snagging the foul fly a fraction of a second before colliding with the fence. With two outs, Haynes induced Walker Dillie to hit a fly ball to the center of the infield. Jared Rothenberg and Grant Haynes both called for the catch and Jared thankfully ceded to Grant at the last second. The ball dropped into Grant's glove, and the 13 year old K.C. Titans had earned their first tournament trophy of the spring with a hard fought 3-2 late-inning victory. Congratulations to the Titans, their coaches, Glenn Haynes, Bob Rohrbach, Jack Schaffer, and Tim Mann, and tournament director and team photographer Fred Chan, on a very successful tournament. Go Titans!!!! This coming weekend will find the 13 year old Titans on the road in not-so-beautiful LaPorte for a tournament, while the 14 year old Titans host a tournament here at Bayland Park. Thank you to all the parents who helped to make this past weekend a success for both teams. See you at the ball park.
I just wanted to take time to thank Bob, Jack, Tim, Scott, Ken and all the kids and parents for their participation this past weekend. As you can tell, we played this tournament very hard meaning that some kids saw limited playing time and/or were used in certain situations. Let me reiterate the message which has been handed down to me regarding the types of tournaments we play in and the way I am to play them. Enter the hardest tournaments (within reason) which I can, play them as hard as possible, and uphold the long standing winning tradition of Kyle Chapman. All of this is in preparation for the "zone tournament" which we are to host in late July. I have explained this to the kids and they all seemed to take it very well and seem excited at the prospect of being in the big dance. I believe that being positive but honest with the kids is the best policy. I have found that they trust me because I don't make false promises. Needless to say, while I don't like to get all caught up in statistics, our rankings with the USSSA people (the sanctioning body which promotes these tournaments) had gone roughly from #35 to #8 as of Saturday night. I am very pleased with the kids which were selected by the coaches and would make exactly the same choices if I had to do it again. I will try to schedule a couple of practice games next Sunday and will be emailing everyone soon regarding team finances. Thanks to the parents for bringing everyone to the pregame batting practice at such early hours on the weekend and being so supportive. Coach Glenn
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