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Hudson done too soon

The Minors win back-to-back one-run games before falling to Palm Harbor American.

By JAMAL THALJI, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published July 3, 2002

Hudson's Minors were cruising through the District 12 tournament, winning back-to-back thrillers by one run apiece.

But the season came to a too-quick end Thursday in a 15-1 loss to Palm Harbor American.

Hudson's run began with a 6-5 victory over Holiday on June 16. Shortstop/pitcher Kevin Matlock made a big double play in the top of the sixth inning and then singled in the winning run in the bottom of the sixth. Justin Nourse earned the win in relief.

On June 18, Brennan Taylor pitched a one-hitter in a 4-3 win over Clearwater National, and Matlock singled in the winning run in the bottom of the sixth again.

Thursday didn't go so smoothly. The field wasn't ready at game time, resulting in an hour delay. Then Nourse took the mound, falling behind 5-1 when an hour delay for lightning was called.

"My team just went south from there," manager Joe Matlock said. "It just took us out of the game."

But Matlock, in his first season coaching All-Stars, said the experience was well worth it.

"It was awesome," he said. "I was so emotional because I had never coached an All-Star team before. When I started, some of the coaches were talking and saying that I needed to get the kids enthused, give them something to shoot for and win the pool.

"I told them if they won their pool they could cut my ponytail. They wanted to cut it off after the Clearwater game."

HOLIDAY MAJOR BASEBALL: The Majors played Tuesday after opening with a 10-0 win Saturday over Safety Harbor American in Dunedin. Pitcher Kevin Trapp earned a complete-game shutout and hit a grand slam in the bottom of the third to give Holiday a 6-0 lead.

Anthony Koutsonikas had a single, a double and two RBIs. Outfielder Kody Racel's clutch hitting helped Holiday stay alive in the fifth inning and inched the team closer to the 10-run rule.

Since virtually this same group formed last year's 9-10 year-old district title team, manager Frank Messenger has high hopes.

"We played last year and we won the district, so that was real exciting. We hope to try and do the same this year."

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