By Kyle Koso
GYPSUM, Colo. – Patience in baseball competition is a learned skill, no different than one’s approach at the plate or out in the field.
Finding the right balance between determined effort and staying relaxed defined Saturday for the Houston Brewers at the 11uD1 Triple Crown World Series, as two big offensive pushes and a quality outing from starter Jesus Guerra guided the squad to a 9-1 five-inning run-rule victory over the Saddleback Cowboys at the Gypsum Sports Complex.
Houston has reached the title game in the double-elimination bracket and will play at 8 a.m. Sunday, earning the crown with a victory and getting a second chance at the title, should they lose early, at 10 a.m.
Guerra allowed two hits and four walks to go with seven strikeouts; his only wobbly moments came in the first inning where Saddleback (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) pushed across a run to take a 1-0 lead. Once the work to come was understood, Guerra found his touch and never let the opposition get another foothold.
“I was disappointed about the first inning; when I got back to the dugout my teammates and coaches helped me get up and have confidence,” Guerra said. “I did the best I could then, throwing strikes. And all the offense was a big help.”
“He’s been pitching two and a half years and has good stuff; he just needed one inning to settle in and after that he was lights out,” said Brewers coach Ray Ramirez.
The offense made a lot of progress just by waiting out for good results. The Brewers scored five runs in the second inning, with five walks and a hit batter causing most of the disruption. Four more runs came across in the fourth; another walk and HBP played a part in that outburst.
“We usually take pitches, especially if we see a guy struggling out there. And we’re not afraid to wear a pitch – that’s a great way to get on base, and the big guys come up and clear them out,” Ramirez said.
One of the big guys, Earon Ramirez, took a deep breath and calmly accepted walks in his first two at-bats, but he was ready to jump on a fastball in the fourth and smoked a three-run double to break the game open.
“It was tough (waiting), because I was ready to hit. I’ve been hitting well all tournament,” Earon Ramirez said. “When I got in there in the fourth, he went first-pitch curve ball and then threw another one. He was down in the count, and I knew he would go fastball.”
The Brewers are finding bonus determination, regardless of the heat or close games earlier in the bracket, after finishing second at this event last year. Everyone in uniform is dialed in on the thought of bringing home the trophy.
“We’ve fought hard, played our game, and now we’re in the championship,” Earon Ramirez said.
“Last year left a bad taste in our mouths. We played a good team from Tennessee, but that drove us in the fall and the spring,” coach Ramirez added. “Up to two months ago, we’re talking about being able to win this thing, and that we have the stuff to do it.”
Adam Morales reached base three times and had a run and RBI for the Brewers. Gio Martinez and Jaime Meza scored twice each. Jake Dak singled and scored for the Saddlebacks in the first; Johnny Shin drove him in with a single and also walked in the fourth.