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Holiday Major Baseball falls in tournament final


© St. Petersburg Times, published June 15, 2000

The Holiday Major Baseball Devil Rays fell victim Tuesday night in the Tournament of Champions final to the very thing that got them there: great pitching.

Their potent offense declawed and unable to stop Largo American, the Devil Rays lost 8-0, denying them their first Little League title. Pitcher Robby Robinson pitched all six innings for Holiday and struck out 12, but he allowed eight hits and walked five as Largo scored three in the fifth and sixth innings to put away the Devil Rays.

Robinson also had the only hit for the Holiday squad as Largo's Charley Olson handcuffed the Devil Rays.

"We've faced pitchers with a lot more velocity, but last night, Olson and his Largo teammates were better," said Harold Shaffer, the Holiday manager. "I have to give them all the credit. They played flawless baseball. I don't know if they play like that all the time, but they impressed me.

"Tension was so thick in our dugout at times, I thought I was walking in fog. The kids were so tight."

Robinson struck out five of the first six batters before bad weather delayed the game for an hour. The delay "took a lot of our momentum," Shaffer said.

Largo broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the third inning.

"As they say, good pitching always stops good hitting, and Olson did a great job," Shaffer said.

The Devil Rays finished 28-8, including 22 wins in their last 26 games.

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