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Middleton pays for late home runs

As Middleton clung to a 1-0 lead Friday, Corey Thomas gave up solo home runs to Venice rightfielder Ryan Anderson sixth and catcher Pete Hernandez in the seventh for a 2-1 loss.

By Nate Cowan, Special to the Times
Published May 5, 2007


Middleton pitcher Corey Thomas wishes he could have two pitches back. As Middleton clung to a 1-0 lead Friday, Thomas gave up solo home runs to Venice rightfielder Ryan Anderson sixth and catcher Pete Hernandez in the seventh for a 2-1 loss.

"He left the ball up, " Tigers coach Vernon Slater said. "With the wind blowing out you can't make those mistakes."

Thomas had his fastball and changeup working to dominate the Indians hitters. He went six innings, giving up four hits and two earned runs while striking out 10 with two walks.

Venice's Jason Kaufman was equally up to the task, pitching a complete game while giving up six hits, one walk and striking out eight. A fourth-inning home run by centerfielder Anthony Langston was the only run he yielded.

"Venice is a good ballclub, " Slater said. "I didn't know much about them coming in, but when you make it this far you have to be good."

Slater was happy with his team after one of the most successful seasons in school history.

"I have a lot of respect for my players, " he said after a 21-7 season and district championship. "I'm proud of them and they fought to the end.

Nate Cowan, Special to the Times