Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Rays Topple "Elite" ECB Titans

The Rays won a ten inning thriller, beating the elite East Cobb Titians 3-2 in a come from behind pitcher’s duel. Michael Fowke struck out seven in nine innings of work, not allowing an earned run or even a walk, while throwing an economical 100 pitches.

.....Parker scored the eventual game-winning run in the top of the tenth, when the Titan first baseman couldn’t handle Tyler’s hard grounder.

.....With the one run lead, Will came on to pitch the decisive bottom of the inning. After hitting the leadoff batter with a 2-2 curve, second-baseman Cole threw out the next batter for the first out. Will then made a nice play on a swinging bunt, getting the second out at first. After an intentional walk and down 3-0 to the next batter, Will threw three straight strikes to end the game.

.....The Rays scored first, when Cole hustled home on a second-inning wild pitch. The Titans took the lead with two unearned runs in the bottom of the third.

.....Then Fowke finished his gem, not allowing another runner to third for another five innings. He spread out Titan hits over the nine innings. His low pitch count allowed him to stay in the game for so long. His pitches per inning: 9-13-15-8-9-12-3-12-19. Of the 35 batters he faced, Mike only went to a 3 ball count on five of them.

.....Down a run going into their last at bat, Austin struck out to lead off the top of the seventh. But when strike three skipped to the backstop, he made it to first base. Ryan G struck out trying to bunt pinch-runner Richie into scoring position, then Dustin also went down swinging for the second out. But the third-baseman couldn’t handle Jake’s grounder, giving the Rays runners at the corners.

.....Parker blooped a fly ball into short centerfield. The hustling centerfielder charged the ball. Were he to catch the ball, the game would end with the Titans on top. The Titans are East Cobb’s second-best 16U team, perhaps a top-ten team nationally. But one batter was pinch-hit for, called back after entering the batter’s box. Another was castigated for not allowing a pitch to hit him…in the head. The Titans did hustle and keep their shirt-tails neatly tucked, but they committed four errors.

.....Inexplicably, the centerfielder pulled up to play the hit on the bounce, allowing Richie to easily score the game-tying run. Jake couldn’t venture far from first, but he easily made it to second. Three innings later the stage was set for the extra-inning heroics of Parker, Tyler, and Will.

.....The Rays also played well in their earlier game, but fell apart in the sixth, allowing six unearned runs, and the 15U East Cobb Astros won 9-6. One of the top five 15U teams in the country, the Astros scored a total of eight unearned runs off the Rays, I was told.

.....Bradley slugged a two-run home run, and Cole drove in at least two runs. Parker scored at least two runs. Will was hit twice, went 2-2, and drove in a run.

.....Dustin pitched well in defeat, allowing one earned run in 5-2/3 innings. Will pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, starting a double play, then finishing with a strikeout.

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