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Price takes another step toward freshman championship, 5-4

In what had to be considered a quality baseball game by all players and fans on Monday night, Price Distributing (PD) emerged from a nail-biter to put itself one win away from a city championship in the freshman series with Leggett & Platt (LP).
The lead changed hands several times until the game’s eighth extra-base hit propelled PD (13-2) past LP (12-4) in a 5-4 victory. LP certainly gave itself a great chance with more hits (7-6) and fewer errors (2-1).
“This was a really close game and an excellent way to start this series,” said PD coach Billy Keilers.
“It was a team effort like most of the games we’ve won.”
“[PD] has been in first [place] and we’ve been in second all season,” said LP coach John Lopez.
“I think we did an excellent job of hanging tight tonight. The team we put on the field was the one I want to see at district.”
In a contest filled with big-time hits, Tanner Morales (inside-the-park homer, triple) and Jeb Harper (RBI double, RBI single) paced the PD offense. Ty Keilers (RBI triple), Cody Green (triple) and Caleb Clark (RBI groundout) each played their part regarding the final score. Brady Dulin (6 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 2 W, HBP, 15 SO) was mowing batters down like he worked for a landscaping service.
Johnathon Coronado (RBI double, single) and Alex Carvajal (two singles) both tallied multi-hit games for LP. Jay Lopez (RBI double), Colby Martinez (triple) and Jesus Fraga (single) also put bat on ball for the visitors. In a game where both pitchers were outstanding, Coronado (5 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 0 W, 10 SO) certainly delivered on the hill.
It was all or nothing for LP hitters against Dulin in the first. While three of their teammates struck out, Colby Martinez (triple), Coronado (RBI double) and Lopez (RBI double) all made great contact for a 2-0 advantage. Coronado then fanned three of four batters in the bottom of the first, but Morales had quite an impact with an inside-the-park homer on a fly to right field.
“I knew we were ready to go when the top of the lineup came out with several big hits,” Lopez said.
“Colby has been with me since sr. midget and he’s getting better everyday. That guy always has a great attitude no matter what. Jay had a big early hit for us and he’s doing a great job.”
“Tanner was the only guy in our first inning not to strike out, so his homer was huge to get us on the board,” Keilers said.
Dulin found the LP second much more to his liking. The pitcher struck out a batter and made two plays with the leather, including a superb diving grab of a baby bloop.
“Brady has such long legs, it doesn’t take but a couple of strides for him to cover a lot of ground,” Keilers said.
PD then took its first lead in the bottom of the inning as Green tripled, Harper drilled an RBI single and Clark added an RBI groundout (3-2).
“Cody legged out that triple, which he’s done several times this year,” Keilers said.
“Caleb is hard on himself, but it was big for a young guy to bring in a run for us.”
To open the LP third inning, Carvajal singled to left and sped to third on a throwing error. While Dulin struck out all of the following batters beyond a Coronado single, Carvajal sped home on a passed ball for a 3-3 affair.
With one out in the PD third, consecutive triples from Morales and Keilers (RBI) pushed the home team back in front. LP was solid otherwise with a fielded groundout from second baseman Lopez, a laser lineout up the middle to Coronado and another strikeout.
“Tanner is a huge part of our team between second base, pitcher and big-time offense like he had tonight,” Keilers said.
“Ty came up big with a man on and he’s been doing well.”
The fourth inning proved to be the only segment of action where neither team produced a hit or a run. Dulin and Coronado each struck out two while both second basemen (Lopez, Morales) fielded groundouts.
“Brady averages about 10 strikeouts per game,” Keilers said.
“He’s had a tough time at the plate late in the season, but it hasn’t affected his pitching. Even though [LP] hit the ball hard, Brady did enough to win.”
“Johnathon has led the way for us,” Lopez said.
“Instead of going to the World Series with his select team, he’s going to stay with us for district. That shows outstanding commitment to our team.”
With time running low in the game, LP needed to pull even during its fifth. Carvajal legged out a slow-roller single, stole a couple of bases and scored on a passed ball (4-4) before Dulin could strike out three batters for the third time through five innings.
“Alex is really stepping it up for us and this was one of his better games,” Lopez said.
Coronado came up big in the PD fifth, retiring the side due in large part to a couple more strikeouts. In the LP sixth, sub Fraga put a line single up the middle and advanced to second on an error, yet Dulin kept dealing with three more strikeouts.
Keilers reached base on LP’s only error to begin the PD sixth and promptly stole two bases to put his team on the cusp of another win. Though Coronado battled valiantly with a strikeout and a forced popup to third baseman Fraga, Harper couldn’t be stopped from whapping a line RBI double to right field that put the contest on ice.
“All I ask is the guys have fun and play smart,” Lopez said.
“I love what I’m seeing – win or lose, but we want to make it to a [deciding] game on Friday.”
“Ty has always been very aggressive on the bases,” the PD coach said.
“Jeb picked a great time to get hot at the plate for us. Alex [Mecom] has been another key guy for us this season as the leadoff hitter and our shortstop.
“I look for another close game on Wednesday and I’m proud of the way we’re winning games with different guys stepping up.”

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Posted by on Jun 24 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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