While the International Softball Congress World Tournament favorites are falling, No. 5-ranked Larry H. Miller Toyota (71-8) remains unbeaten.
But it hasn't been easy for Miller Toyota, either.The Salt Lake City team was scheduled to start its game at 8 p.m. local time Monday. But the game actually started Tuesday morning at 3 a.m.
That was Miller Toyota's biggest problem. Once the game - vs. Napanee, Ontario, Canada - started, Peter Meredith pitched his second straight shutout, 4-0, to allow the team to remain in the winning bracket.
Meredith fanned 14, walked only one and gave up three hits. He was much sharper than in Miller Toyota's first ISC game, when it defeated County Concrete of Marathan, Wis., 7-0.
"I'm just like anyone else," said Meredith. "I had the first game jitters. I was lucky enough to get a win out of it the way I pitched.
"But our hitters just came out and dominated it. It was a good win. We're still putting the numbers on the board, and hopefully, we can keep that going. Everybody contributed. If a guy goes down, like Kenny (Eriksen), we've got someone like Pete (Spoerl), who can come in and pick us up."
The only time Meredith was in any trouble was the sixth inning, when he gave up back to back hits. He fanned the side to get out of the jam.
Eriksen pulled a groin muscle running into the fence in the first inning. Spoerl came in and did a good job for him.
Miller Toyota scored its first run in the second inning. Brian Lehrman walked. Kenny Garinger sacrificed him to second, and he stole third. Lehrman came home on Spoerl's RBI fielder's choice.
They added two more in the fourth inning. Garinger walked. Spoerl's sacrifice bunt moved Garinger to second, and he scored on Tommy Gray's RBI single.
And in the fifth inning, Brett Alvey continued his torrid tournament hitting with a solo home run over the left-field wall.
Miller Toyota was expecting to play the 1994 ISC champion, Green Bay All-Car, but Midland, Mich., dumped the defending kings 7-0 in five innings Monday night. Miller will face Midland at 7:15 p.m. MDT Wednesday.
Houston 11, Page Brake 8
Salt Lake City's Page Brake was eliminated from the International Softball Congress World Tournament Monday night, losing to Houston 11-8.
The Texas club took advantage of five Page Brake errors and three passed balls. Houston grabbed an 8-1 lead in the second inning on George Castilla's two-run home run.
Page Brake came back to close the gap with Junior Lopati's home run, Jeff Jensen's two-run double, 9-8. But Houston scored three more runs on Trey Brooks' triple.