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Palma Ceia loses 9-7, but is not out

By SCOTT PURKS

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 5, 2001


For the first time in this year's Little League all-star playoffs, the Palma Ceia juniors found themselves getting beaten pretty badly.

And though they made a strong comeback in Saturday's South Region tournament in Cartersville, Ga., Palma Ceia lost 9-7 to Texas.

"We haven't been to used to being behind," Palma Ceia assistant Jim Mathews said. "I know we had Texas sweating a bit there at the end, but we just came up a little short."

Texas jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the third on two walks and three hits, and in the next inning with five runs, including a grand slam.

Heading into the bottom of the sixth, Palm Ceia trailed 9-2 before staging an uprising, sprinkling three hits among three walks and scoring five.

In Palma Ceia's last at-bat, however, only one hitter reached base.

"We hit the ball pretty hard a couple of times, but we just hit it right at somebody," Mathews said. "We really didn't get any breaks. But we never gave up either."

Mathews admitted Palma Ceia didn't play its best game, walking five Texas hitters and committing three errors, but he said, "Our kids still had a great attitude after the game.

"They were saying, "Let's go and come back in the losers bracket and win this thing."'

Palma Ceia (11-2 in its all-star season) will play North Carolina today at 4:30. The winner moves on.

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