The San Antonio McAllister Park All-Stars lived up to their top billing by edging the Kerrville All-Stars 5-2 Monday evening to take the double-elimination 13-14 Junior tournament championship at Ingram Tom Moore Field.
Although losing for the second time to the tourney favorites, the Kerrville team didn’t go down without a fight.
“Our guys played their hearts out, and we fought right to the end,” said Kerrville coach Steven Rhodes. “They did all they could do against a strong select team. McAllister is a seasoned team from a great program and have experience playing in tournaments all over the country. They play good fundamental ball. We did what we could and we played them tough.
“We’re young. All but two of our boys are 13. We’ll work hard and get better, and we’ll back here next year.”
Trailing 4-0 in the fourth inning, Kerrville scored twice to cut the deficit in half. Second baseman Pete Lockwood led off the inning with a sharp single to left. Michael Nelson, coming out as a pinch-hitter, reached base on a catcher’s interference, putting runners on first and second with no one out. Aiden Barwig followed with an infield single to load the bases.
After the next two batters went down on infield pop outs, Hayden Kneese legged out an infield hit to score one run. When the throw trying to get him at first got away, another run came trotting in to make it a 4-2 game.
McAllister Park tacked on an insurance run in the fourth, but that turned out to be all the scoring, as the pitching and defenses settled down to put up only goose eggs on the board the rest of the way.
A strong throw from right field by Eric Tenery holding a runner at third with nobody out prevented one run from scoring, and a diving stop by Colton Wolfe saved another.
The last big scoring opportunity for Kerrville came in the fifth, when they loaded the bases with two out, but the next batter went out ending the threat.
Starting hurler Adan Hernandez pitched an outstanding game for the local All-Stars, throwing five solid innings while giving up only a pair of singles and just one earned run.
“Adan was a standout for us today,” Rhodes said. “He could have gone the distance, but he reached the 95-pitch limit, and I had to take him out. That young man can pitch for me anytime.”
Barwig, Tenery, Wolfe and Adan Hernandez all banged out two hits apiece to lead the way offensively for Kerrville.