Tournaments | Story | 3/25/2019

3 champs emerge in Texas

Vincent Cervino         Jerry Miller        
Photo: Banditos Scout Team (Perfect Game)

Drillers add second 12u PG title in 2019

TOMBALL, Texas – The Alamo Drillers returned to Tomball in pursuit of another PG championship to couple with the Texas Spring Kickoff trophy they garnered in February. Their road to victory this past weekend was a bit tougher as the San Antonio-based club had to overcome deficits in each of their three hard fought victories on Sunday to earn another PG title, a 14-11 victory over One0eight in the championship game.

The Drillers formula for success this weekend was the same as it was in February: sound pitching and defense and an unrelenting offense. After capturing their pool on Saturday they returned to action on Sunday knowing that they had to grind through three games against top-flight opponents to capture the crown. In each of those well-earned victories, the Drillers had to fight from behind to win.

The final score does not truly paint a fair picture of the quality of effort given by both clubs. The Drillers offense comes at teams in waves as there are no easy outs in the entire lineup. In the finals against the One0eight squad, the Drillers scored in every inning, highlighted by a two home run, six RBI game by Johnathan Gonzalez and by Terry Lawrence’s third homer of the day.

The gritty One0eight team got a gutty performance by their starting pitcher, Mason Kinchen. The wiry lefty threw 85 pitches and helped get his team into the fourth inning with a chance to win the ball game. The One0eight offense did not really have the big boppers that the Drillers lineup did, but they extended at-bats and rarely chased out of the zone. Paced by a 4-for-4 game by Dylan Jasek, the One0eight team never quit. Down 14-8 coming to bat in the top of the sixth, One0eight dug deep, scoring three runs and brought the tying run to the dish, before this hard fought, well-played game came to an end.

James "Will" McKinzie showed his offensive prowess by picking up three knocks while scoring two and driving in two. Diminutive and big-hearted Nicholas Smart, who exemplified the essence of the One0eight team, had one of the bigger knocks on the day as the gritty and hard-playing One0eight leftfielder drove in three big runs during the furious sixth-inning One0eight rally.

In the quarterfinals, a very sound Hooks-Gulf Coast team jumped out to a quick 2-0 first inning lead, only to see the Drillers score in each of the first four innings, highlighted by a four spot in the second to take a lead they would never relinquish. The tournament’s Most Valuable Pitcher, Ty Hawkins, twirled a complete game four-hitter and struck out seven in leading his club and saving the Driller staff for two more games. Terry Lawrence, a gifted player with a big power bat, hit the first of three home runs on the day to help lead the offensive attack for Alamo.

In the semifinals, the Drillers faced off against the Banditos 12u Black in a rematch of the PG Texas Spring Kickoff finals. Alamo found themselves buried in a 7-2 hole coming to bat in the fourth inning, due to big home runs from Banditos Lucas Tinajero and Logan Horton. All the Drillers did in the bottom of the fourth was to apply their usual formula of getting runners on base and then hitting the ball out of the park. The offensive onslaught saw the Drillers plate nine runners to take an 11-7 lead. The Drillers tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and then withstood a furious Banditos rally in the top of the sixth that saw the long-time PG power Banditos plate four runs and have the tying run come to the plate.

The wild 13-11 victory, powered by home runs from Lawrence, Demarco Bandiero and tournament MVP Gavyn Schlotterback sent the emotionally drained San Antonio club to the finals to face first-time PG entrant One0eight out of Spring, Texas in suburban north Houston.

The One0eight formula for victory was a little less dramatic than the Drillers. Lead by offensive standouts Hunter Witte, Dylan Jasek and Will McKinzie, each of whom hit .500 on the weekend, and the strong arms of  Kolt Larsen, who threw five innings and had seven strikeouts, and Dominic Salas, who tossed 5 1/3 innings and struck out eight, the One0eight club cruised to relatively undramatic victories over the Canes, 5-2 in the quarterfinals, and Twelve 12U Gold, 7-4 in the semifinals. The One0eight club was a pitching, defense, and timely hitting outfit that played with great poise and enthusiasm, as well as an attention to detail, that is rarely seen at this level. It probably is not a stretch to say that One0eight was the most fundamentally sound club in the tournament.

2019 PG 12u TX Invitational Champions: Alamo Drillers

2019 PG 12u TX Invitational runner-up: OneOeight Black

2019 PG 12u TX Invitational MVP: Gavyn Schlotterback

2019 PG 12u TX Invitational MV-Pitcher: Ty Hawkins

Scrappers outslug Banditos for 13u Crown

TOMBALL, Texas – The Evoshield Scrappers polished off an undefeated, 5-0 weekend with a big victory over the Banditos Black by a score of 13-5. The Scrappers were down initially and scored thirteen unanswered to run away with the championship game and end up victorious in the 13u PG TX Invitational.

The Banditos stormed off to a 5-0 lead in the bottom half of the first as the bats looked like they would remain hot into the late innings of the game. The first five batters of the game all reached base via walk, hit-by-pitch, or batted ball and two runs crossed the plate before an out was recorded.

The Scrappers woke up in the top of the second as the bottom half of the lineup started a rally that included six straight hits. The Scrappers put up six runs to not only reclaim the lead but to bounce right back against the Banditos. After that point it looked like the teams were destined to trade blows but instead it was more of a methodical run production from the Scrappers.

The Scrappers extended the lead with a three run top of the fourth inning and then scored in every inning after that. They went one, one, and two to close out the game and extend their lead to give their pitching staff a bit of comfort.

The starting pitcher settled in after getting touched up in the first but Isaac Lopez was the big story on the pitching side of things for the Scrappers as he went three perfect innings on just thirty pitches. Lopez was later named the MVP of the tournament after he batted .600 for the tournaments, most of the hits were doubles, to go along with six RBI, six runs scored, and five stolen bases. Cage McCloud of the Banditos was named MV-Pitcher following his dazzling playoff start where he tossed a complete game, shutout and struck out six batters.

2019 PG 13u TX Invitational Champions: Evoshield Scrappers

2019 PG 13u TX Invitational runner-up: Banditos Black

2019 PG 13u TX Invitational MVP: Isaac Lopez

2019 PG 13u TX Invitational MV-Pitcher: Cage McCloud

Banditos blank Twelve Black to complete comeback

TOMBALL, Texas – The only blemish on the Banditos record this weekend was blowing a 7-0 lead in the second game of pool play to tie and enter bracket play as the lowest seed. It worked out well for them however, as they kicked it into overdrive on Sunday as they defeated Twelve Black by a score of 7-0 to win the 14u PG TX Invitational.

From start to finish, Banditos starter Diego Roel Gomez was locked in and carved up the opposition. Gomez wasn’t overpowering stuff wise but he had very good command and worked to both corners. Gomez finished with a seven-inning, complete game shutout where he allowed only five hits and struck out three batters.

The scoring started in the top of the fourth for the Banditos as Boots Landry delivered a nice piece of two-out hitting with an opposite field double to bring home the first run of the evening. The next inning the Banditos really expanded their lead with the big hit coming off the barrel of Tracer Lopez as his triple brought home the runners.

The Banditos kept adding runs throughout the game and finished with seven on the afternoon and that was plenty for Gomez. The righthander allowed one baserunner in the bottom of the seventh inning but was able to get the next hitter to groundout and clinch the championship.

Tracer Lopez was named the MVP of the tournament for the Banditos and the lefthanded hitting infielder finished with a .500 batting average along with two extra-base hits, seven runs scored, five RBI, and three stolen bases. Gomez was named MV-Pitcher for the weekend following his shutout effort in the championship game.

2019 PG 14u TX Invitational Champions: Banditos Scout Team

2019 PG 14u TX Invitational runner-up: Twelve Black

2019 PG 14u TX Invitational MVP: Tracer Lopez

2019 PG 14u TX Invitational MV-Pitcher: Diego Roel Gomez

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