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Mustang all-stars eliminated after 21-17 Coast Region defeat

July 15, 2018

PASADENA - Now 100 percent of Deer Park’s Mustang all-stars can go on vacation.

With 25 percent of the team’s all-star roster on vacation for the Coast Region Tournament, Deer Park’s remaining players fought to the end, before absorbing a season-ending 21-17 defeat to Meadows Place at Lee Field Saturday afternoon.

For whatever reason, this was not the same Mustang all-star team that played two exciting games against a very good Huntsville squad in the Section Tournament back on June 30 and July 1 and won multiple tournaments in June.

During a 12-day unexpected stoppage of all-star play, someone stole the real Deer Park Mustang all-star squad. The Coast Region Tournament was slated for last weekend and the loss of playing time threw the team’s good vibes off the tracks.

However, the squad was given the opportunity to savor a bye all the way to South Zone, but elected to earn its way there and now that won’t be happening.

That same Huntsville team is headed back to the Ruth Minchen Athletic Complex for the South Zone Tournament after defeating the Vidor Nationals in another Saturday showdown, 12-6.

Deer Park saw its quest for a South Zone Tournament berth squashed despite Colt Turner having arguably the best game of his youth baseball career.

The team’s leadoff hitter went 4-for-5 with three singles and a triple, while driving in three RBIs and possibly setting a Deer Park Pony Baseball record by scoring five times.

Turner tried to get a miracle rally going when he opened the team’s final at-bat with his fourth basehit and his teammates down 21-15.

Connor Mills, who also drove in three RBIs, plated Turner with a single and Kaleb Wingo followed suit with a seeing-eye single to right field with still no outs.

But Meadows Place’s third pitcher, working his first inning, promptly slammed the door shut on Deer Park’s budding uprising. A strikeout, a Landin Hardin ground out and a fly ball to the pitcher ended the threat.

Hardin’s ground out plated Deer Park’s 17th and final run of the summer, giving him a team-topping four RBIs.

But what hurt Deer Park was its inability to get some clean innings when they were sorely needed. Counting the four innings from Friday night’s 17-7 defeat, Deer Park surrendered three or more runs in the opening eight frames of the Coast Region Tournament.

The worst of those innings came at the worst moment. Deer Park had just chewed up a 10-5 deficit with a six-run rally in the home half of the third.

But Meadows Place promptly erupted for 10 runs in the top of the fourth, grabbing a 20-11 advantage.

Mills, who was pitching in relief of Hardin, surrendered three singles and three walks to six of the first seven batters in the inning before giving way to Gabe Salinas.

Finally, in the fifth and sixth innings, Deer Park picked up back-to-back clean innings, only allowing one run in those two frames.

That allowed Deer Park to outscore Meadows Place 6-1 down the stretch.

In Deer Park’s six-run third, the team took advantage of three errors by the infield gloves to get within 10-9. Then some nice hustle by Sean Dupuis enabled him to beat out a ground ball to the shortstop that tied the game and Hardin beat out a deflected ball to the second baseman that made it 11-10.

GAME NOTES: Either Meadows Place, Jefferson County or Vidor will join Huntsville as representatives of the Coast Region at South Zone. At the moment, Vidor has the inside track to be that second team. … Ferris stopped a ground ball with a behind-the-back grab for the first out of the fifth inning. Although it scored Meadow Place’s 21st run, it was a sweet play by the second baseman. Two batters later, left fielder Taylor Bryant made a dazzling catch…Under some non-working loudspeakers at the top of Lee Field’s backstop was a squirrel that stayed under those loudspeakers the entire day. It wasn’t stuck in the fencing as some first feared because it was seen making some movement.

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