Today, in the first U.S. Semifinal game on Cal Sr's Yard, Pacific Southwest suffered its first loss of the tournament to Team Southeast 5-2.
Cal Ripken JR. and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred came to watch today's games and greeted both teams before they took the field. The fans saw excitement right from the beginning when Southeast scored off an RBI single by Blake McCain.
Pacific Southwest would answer with a couple of runs of their own after Stanley McKenzie hit a home run off of the Under Armour Hummer in center field. Going into the second inning, Pacific Southwest lead Southeast 2-1.
I asked Player of the Game Stanley McKenzie how that first inning homer felt, "It felt good, I just did it for my family." Stanley's home run would give Pacific Southwest the lead until the top of the fourth inning when Southeast struck back.
Down one run, Sam Perez and Payton Bloom hit back-to-back doubles to score three runs and give Southeast a 4-2 lead. Team Southeast would get an insurance run in the top of the fifth after Grayson Nichols scored on a passed ball at home plate.
With the weather threatening all game, we finally had a significant rain delay in the bottom of the sixth. Before the delay, Pacific Southwest had two runners on base and no outs. The delay postponed the sixth inning until 4:00 PM when the players were able to go back on the field.
Confident and ready to shock the world, Pacific Southwest's fans and bench erupted with cheers and support for their home team. Southeast's defense and pitching proved to be too much in the end and a double play coupled with groundout ended the game with a score of 5-2.
The players some Pacific Southwest should be proud of how they played on the world stage here at the 2015 Cal Ripken World Series. I asked Coach Daryl Kitagawa what he told his players after their heartbreaking loss, "Keep your heads up high we are one of four teams left in the U.S. bracket and one of 18 teams in the world lucky enough to make it here. Be proud of your accomplishments, keep getting better and move forward as you advance as players."