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Photo: Perfect Game

Tournaments : : Story
A Battle of Houston
Sam Brazenas        
Published: Thursday, June 27, 2013

MARIETTA, Ga. – The Houston Banditos 15u Black is now the last team standing. Well, the last Houston team standing.

The Banditos defeated the Houston Hurricanes on Thursday 4-1, allowing them to advance to the next round of the playoffs.

Solid work in the field and on the mound won this game. The Banditos didn't commit an error in the field, and between pitchers Conner Capel and Blake Helmer, they managed to only let the Hurricanes score once.

Our pitching coach is doing a phenomenal job with this pitching staff,” said Banditos Head Coach Robert Deleon. “He’s mixing and matching with the pitchers and he’s piecing it together well, and that’s the only way to do it with our pitching staff. We don’t have any great arms, but we have kids who throw strikes.”

Capel pitched the first five innings of the game. He managed to give up only two hits, no runs and struck out seven.

(Capel is) a phenomenal player. He had only thrown five innings all year, but we know that if he throws strikes, he’s a very tough pitcher to beat,” explained Deleon. “He did a great job today. He established his fastball early and he had a great off-speed pitch.”

Ryan Bertelsman went 2-for-4 and led the team in RBI with two. Dylan Bohnert went 2-for-3 with two singles. The Banditos were able to get on base a lot and managed to steal seven bases.

We run the bases well (and) we’ve got a lot of speed,” continued Deleon. “We have to manufacture runs (because) we’re not the team that’s going to go out there and hit home runs. We get runners over, and we get them in. That’s been our forte all year.”

Because both teams came from Houston, this game meant a little more than just advancing to the next round.

They were up for us (and) we were up for them. It was a battle of Houston,” explained Deleon. “Of course we wanted to be the last Houston team standing.”

The pressure builds for the Banditos as they advance further in this tournament.

We came with a small roster, with 12 players,” Deleon added. “Right now we’re just scratching and crawling for every run, every pitch, and every play to make.

We have to do the little things to take the pressure off of them. But I’m very proud of my boys, they’re playing hard,” said Deleon, “I think the deeper you go in any tournament the pressure is going to be on.”

Although they are still young, Deleon says that his kids are getting interest from many different schools.

In order to get interest from schools they have to come out here and perform in these Perfect Game events,” explained Deleon. “That’s why I think our program is one of the top in the country. Our players come out here and they perform in front of recruiters and scouts.”

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