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IHOP can't get cooking

June 18, 2004

Erik Boal

For the International House of Pancakes Major Baseball team, the top

of the first inning in Thursday's contest summed up their entire

experience in the Little League District 16 Tri-Cities Tournament.

After being one-hit in a 20-run loss to High Temp Metals in

Tuesday's opening-round contest, the Jewel City Little League

representative's run of bad luck continued, as the Burbank Bulldogs

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scored four runs in their first at-bat without the benefit of a hit.

Unfortunately for Chris Alchermes' squad, things didn't get any

better as the second-chance bracket contest progressed, as IHOP

surrendered six runs in the second and seven more in the fifth to

suffer a 17-2 setback at Pacific Park, thus becoming the first team

eliminated from the 10-team tournament in the 9- to 12-year-old

division.

*--*

BOX SCORE

*--*

*--*

Bulldogs 4 6 0 0 7 -- 17 8 3

IHOP 0 0 0 2 0 -- 2 5 3

*--*

*--*

* Game called because of 10-run mercy rule

*--*

*--*

Bulldogs IP H R ER BB K

Haney 4 5 2 0 1 11

Acuna 1 0 0 0 0 3

Totals 5 5 2 0 1 14

*--*

*--*

IHOP IP H R ER BB K

Dominguez 5 8 17 11 12 3

*--*

*--*

WP-- Haney (4-0).

LP-- Dominguez (3-6).

2B: B-Koll, Mersola.

3B: B-Gonzalez, Mersola; IHOP-Burseno.

SB: B-Haney.

*--*

"The team didn't back up [pitcher Joshua Dominguez] to start, and

we spotted them 10 runs," said Alchermes, whose son, Michael, had one

of his team's five hits in the contest that was called because of the

10-run mercy rule.

"And our pitching [depth] isn't properly equipped for the way the

rules are set up in the playoffs.

"We played them three times during the regular season and they won

all three, but we always try to play them tough."

When Dominguez (3-6) -- who gave up eight hits and walked 12 in a

complete-game effort -- stayed around the strike zone, he held the

Bulldogs (18-6) scoreless in the third and fourth innings.

But the Bulldogs -- who will meet Tujunga's Yankees, a 13-3 loser

Thursday night against Crescenta Valley's Landry's Sporting Goods, at

2 p.m. Saturday at Pacific Park in another second-chance bracket

contest -- walked three times in the first, and four each in the

second and fifth, with seven of those runners coming around to score.

"Playing them [for the fourth time], we knew anything can happen,"

said Bulldog Coach Ron Gobble, who received 11 strikeouts in four

innings from left-hander Patrick Haney (4-0) and three more from

Michael Acuna in his one inning of relief.

"But I have a lot of confidence in our team.

"Seeing [Dyrness Automotive pitcher Anthony Giannelli] in our

first game might have been a benefit for us in terms of how we swung

the bats [Thursday]."

After striking out 16 times in Tuesday's 4-1 opening-round loss to

Dyrness Automotive, Gobble's squad only fanned on three occasions

Thursday, as his top hitters regained their form against Dominguez,

who threw 147 pitches.

Leadoff hitter Chase Mersola doubled, tripled, scored twice and

drove in two runs, No. 2 batter George Gonzalez tripled, had a run

batted in and scored three times, and Haney had two hits, two RBIs

and scored twice from the clean-up position. Greg Koll added two hits

-- including a double -- scored a run and tallied three RBIs for the

Bulldogs, who sent 11 batters to the plate in the second and 10 in

the fifth.

Chris Burseno tripled and scored for IHOP (7-17), which collected

three of its hits -- from Lenny Diaz, Alchermes and James Atherton --

en route to scoring both its runs in the fourth.

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