Coral Gables A’s 6, Coastal Stingrays 5 (10 inn.)
|18+ Wood Division Champs, the Coral Gables A’s.|
Roger Dean Stadium, Jupiter, Fla., Nov. 14, 2011 –
In one of the most exciting conclusions at the 2011 Fall Classic, Alvaro Gomez scored the game-winner on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Coral Gables A’s a 6-5 win over the Coastal Stingrays and their first Fall Classic title.
|Gomez’ dirt-spraying, head-first slide under the tag of reliever Jonathan Batts put an exclamation point on a comeback that began three innings earlier, and kicked off a celebration that was six years in the making. The A’s tied the game in the ninth when Mike Schatzoe, 0-for-3 to that point, singled in Vengocchea and Portes. Freeman, whose earlier error cost the led to an A’s run, initiated a spectacular 4-6-3 double play to end that inning and preserve the tie.|
The Rays went in order in the ninth and 10th then Pichardo traded places with catcher Batts to start the fateful 10th.
|The A’s weren’t new to winning. They conquered the Holiday Classic at Disney and the Grapefruit Classic in Ft. Meyers in 2010, but a Fall Classic title eluded them until Gomez belly-flopped onto home. In 2004 and 2005 the A’s watched the other guys do the celebrating in the finals. “It feels great,” said manager Miguel Garcia. “It was a roller coaster ride. We definitely made it interesting.|
It was one of those games where we got down early and our ace Jason Privett kept us in the game, Garcia said.
The Rays finished 2-2 in pool play. They lost a 2-1 thriller to the A’s in their third pool game. Pichardo and Brian Schaeffer anchored the staff with two nine-inning outings each. “Without those two guys we wouldn’t have had enough pitching,” said Batts, the Rays’ skipper.
The A’s were 3-1 in pool play. Third baseman Jose Zabala and Privett were named tournament co-MVP’s.
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Pichardo, Batts (10) and Batts and Pichardo (10). Privett and Portes.
W- Privett. L- Batts. Leading Hitters-(Stingrays) Yates 2×5, 2R, RBI; A. Perkins 2×3; Roeser 2×4. (A’s) Vengocchea 1×4, 2R; Portes 1×1, 2R; Martinez 2RBI. 2B – Yates. SB—(Rays) Yates, Freeman, A. Perkins, P. Perkins. (A’s) Vengocchea. LOB – Stingrays 6. Athletics 8