Monument runs out of two-out rallies
Two outs consistently spelled trouble for Texas.
While Monument Little League’s proclivity for performing under pressure prolonged play, Floyd Gwin Little League of Odessa, Texas, didn’t panic and eventually put away pesky Monument.
Hence, Floyd Gwin made it an all-Texas final as the team from Texas West gets a rematch with Texas East representative Post Oak of Houston after Floyd Gwin eliminated Monument 24-14 on Tuesday night in the Intermediate Southwestern Regional at the Grand Mesa Little League sports complex.
Monument started well, scoring three runs in the first inning, getting all of its base runners after two were out. In the fourth inning, it scored two runs after two outs, cutting the deficit to 14-7. Then, in the fifth inning, a two-out rally produced five runs, highlighted by cleanup hitter Shawn Garcia’s drive to the gap in right-center for an inside-the-park grand slam.
Monument had runners on first and third in the fifth before Floyd Gwin halted the uprising that pulled Monument within 16-12.
Monument scored twice in the top of the sixth to get within 18-14, but in the bottom of the sixth, Floyd Gwin decided it was time to end the drama. It scored six runs to end the game on the 10-run rule, aided by three Monument errors, Nos. 4, 5 and 6 for Monument.
After the game, Monument manager Sean Kreidler commended his players for refusing to give up.
“We didn’t quit,” Kreidler said. “This was fun. We kept battling, kept battling.”
It wasn’t a bad effort for an all-star team that almost wasn’t.
When Monument had tryouts for the Intermediate Division, which is in its first year of Little League Baseball, it barely got enough kids. In the end, 10 showed up and 10 suited up, and Kreidler said he was proud of how hard the players worked and the improvements they made in their four weeks together.
“Thanks guys. It was a pleasure to coach you,” he told them.
He hoped playing at home in the regional would be the difference against the Texas teams this year, but in the end both of Monument’s losses came at the hands of the two teams from the Lone Star State.
“I didn’t want a Texas final in our town,” Kreidler said, “but they’re good baseball teams, no doubt about it.”