K-Tribe loses championship game for Mill's Cup
Published in Sports on September 16, 2005 2:03 PM
KINSTON -- Delmont Miller summed it all up in the moments following Frederick's 2-0 win over Kinston in the decisive game five of the Carolina League Championship Series.
"Darn," the 19-year scoreboard operator said softly.
The Keys held on thanks to two runs in the second inning, and the Indians will be left with thoughts of, "What if?" too numerous to count after leaving 11 men on base in the first five innings and 13 on base overall.
Frederick won its first league title since 1990 and denied the Indians a chance to become the first outright back-to-back champions since 1986 before 922 fans at historic Grainger Stadium on Thursday night.
The K-Tribe were looking to erase a two games to none series deficit just as they did last year in defeating Wilmington in five games.
Kinston squandered a scoring chance immediately in the bottom of the first, as Argenis Reyes drew a leadoff walk from Frederick starter Brian Finch only to be picked off first base. Brian Barton followed with a single and Rodney Choy Foo got hit by a pitch, but the Indians ended up leaving them both in scoring position.
K-Tribe starter Nick Pesco then started the top of the second by falling behind in the count 3-1 to Mario Delgado, and Delgado promptly deposited Pesco's next pitch over the wall in center field for a 1-0 lead. Nolan Reimold followed with a double to left, and scored later in the inning on Brian Bock's groundout.
The Indians weren't done with their chances, but wasted a leadoff double by Ryan Goleski in the bottom of the second and left runners on the corners. Two walks and a single loaded the bases for Kinston with two out in the third, but David Wallace's sharp liner went right to Reimold in right field to end the threat.
The Indians then left men on first and second in the fourth and couldn't capitalize on Stephen Head's leadoff double in the fifth, leaving runners on first and second again.
The Keys had a chance to break the game open in the top of the sixth with leadoff singles from Branden Florence and Delgado, but lefty Aaron Laffey came out of the bullpen and extricated the K-Tribe from what turned into a bases-loaded jam by getting Bock on an easy roller to short. Frederick then got a couple of base runners in the eighth on walks, but Jesus Soto got Bryan Bass on a pop-up to end the frame.
Kinston had one final chance against Keys closer Marino Salas in the bottom of the ninth, as Barton doubled to left-center with one away to bring the tying run to the plate. Choy Foo struck out on three pitches though, and Head then went down swinging on a high fastball to end it.
Finch (2-0) got the win and was named MVP of the championship series, as he avoided trouble long enough to throw five shutout innings. He allowed four hits, five walks, hit three batters, and recorded five strikeouts.
Pesco (0-2) deserved a better fate, allowing two runs in 51/3 innings. He gave up seven hits and walk and picked up six strikeouts. Salas earned his third save of the postseason.
Barton went 2-for-4 to lead the offense.
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