After a well deserved day of rest and relaxation on Sunday the team again got down to baseball on Monday. Sunday was spent at the beach, Condado, and Old San Juan. Muscles were tired as were the player's minds after playing four games and a scrimmage in 3+ days.
The GAB's first ups looked promising. After a quick pop-up and a K, Carlito Arroyo drilled a hit off the fence in dead center for a stand-up double. With two outs and Buddha Blake at bat, Buddha drilled a liner right at 2B for the third out.
The game plan for this final game was to distribute the innings around so everyone got a chance to pitch. Larry Pagano took the mound for the GAB to start the game. The instructions were simple, throw strikes and keep the ball low. Larry did his part but defensively the team was a little slow out of the box giving up a single on a routine flyball and a little defensive indifference on a grounder to 3B. Larry got out of the inning but the GAB was down 4-0 after one.
In the second inning it was time for the GAB to take the game back. Ron Emanuelson led off with a walk and later scored on Stefan Livsey's basehit. After a walk to Larry Pagano, a basehit to Christian Colon and a fielders choice to Barrett Couden the GAB had the bases loaded. Will Ramos hit a moon-shot over the wall in RF for a GAB Grand-Slam. When the inning ended the GAB held a 5-4 lead. Barrett Couden pitched the second and third, giving up one run and notching four K's. The GAB's offense in the third was a quick 1-2-3. The score was now tied 5-5 after three.
Ron Emanuelson came on to pitch the fifth and sixth innings. Ron's ERA for the trip is 0.000 over five innings pitched. Ron's combination of off-speed stuff and other pitch selection kept the Puerto Rican players off balance all week. In the fith the GAB broke the tie open with three runs on base hits by Buddha Blake and Ron Emanuelson and doubles by Dallas Mickey and Will Ramos. Buddha got two RBI's for his effort and Dallas picked up the other as the inning ended with the score now 8-5 GAB.
Stefan Livsey pitched the sixth and seventh innings. Stefan faced seven batters in the two innings, and gave up one run in the process. The GAB's offense was quiet at this time too. The 8-9-10 GAB batters went 1-2-3 in the sixth and the 1-2-3 batters went 1-2-3 in the seventh. The Canovanas team didn't want to lose this game and started to pitch their studs. The Canovanas team recorded four K's over the six batters faced over those two innings.
In the 8th the GAB offense saw some action starting with Ron Emanuelson dropping down a surprise bunt for a basehit. Ron though was charged with the second out when Dallas hit into a fielders choice. A 4-3 offering by Stefan ended the GAB 8th. Will Ramos came on to pitch the 8th with the GAB holding an 8-6 lead. But a couple of base hits and stolen bases soon made the score 8-8. Carlito Arroyo came on to relieve Will with two runners on, the score tied, and one out. Carlito got out of the inning without giving up any more runs.
In the ninth the GAB offense sputtered a bit. With two out Barret Couden and Will Ramos draw back to back walks. But with Steve Eavans at the plate Barrett got thrown out trying to steal 3B to end the inning. In the bottom of the ninth probably the heat and long day (9 inning game) got to the GAB team. After a basehit, there was a come-backer to Carlito for a tailor-made doubleplay. The ball tailed a bit and was missed by the second-baseman which gave the Canovanas team runners at 1B and 2B. The next batter hit a ball again fielded by Carlito but the throw to 1B was high and wide, which allowed the winning run to score.
The Canovanas team was a 19u Puerto Rican team and the GAB effort was commendable. The main purpose of this trip is to get ready for the high school season, not necessarily win games. The GAB team did a great job and we played some very competitive baseball. We had our chances to win a few of these games. This is my second year doing this and I wouldn't shy away from a third. Special thanks must go out to the GAB and the other coaches Rick DeMatties, Angel Ramos, Dave Blake and Ron Emanuelson, and Laurie Pagano for taking the many pictures used in this blog. I would also like to thank the players who made the committment such as Will Ramos, Stefan Livsey, Carlito Arroyo, Buddha Blake, Ronnie Emanuelson, Dallas Mickey, Larry Pagano, Steve Eavans, Barrett Couden, and Christian Colon. Best of luck guys in your respective upcoming high school and summer league seasons.