Fla. team wins title on homer

Cal Ripken World Series

Heister's 2-run shot in seventh lifts Jupiter to crown

August 17, 2008|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,Sun reporter

The U.S. representative at the Cal Ripken 12-and-under World Series - Jupiter, Fla. - proved a resilient team with a penchant for the long ball.

It was never more apparent than yesterday's title game against defending champion Mexico. Jupiter also provided a dose of drama.

Catcher Logan Heister hit a walk-off, two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Jupiter a 5-4 win and its first Ripken championship before an estimated 4,500 at Cal Sr.'s Yard in Aberdeen.

Trailing 4-3 after Mexico scored a run in the top of the seventh, Jupiter got a leadoff single from Will Engel before Heister stepped up to the plate. Ahead in the count, he smashed a pitch from Mexico reliever Erick Martinez, easily clearing the left-field fence. Quickly rounding the bases, Heister landed on home plate with a giant hop as he was mobbed by teammates.

"He was getting behind in the count. He threw me a couple of balls, and then he threw one right down the middle and I crushed it," said Heister, who hit his first homer in the Series with Jupiter, finishing with a 6-1 mark. "It was awesome. I never hit a walk-off homer before, so it felt great."

Yesterday, Heister took his cue from teammate Pavin Smith, who twice hit solo homers to tie the score for Jupiter.

Mexico, which had won three of the five past championships, got a two-run homer from Mario Rodriguez in the top of the sixth - the last regulation inning - to take a 3-2 lead, but Smith had an answer in the bottom of the inning. Leading off, he hit his third homer of the championship over the fence in right to get Jupiter even.

Jupiter starter Lance Fry allowed seven hits in six innings, keeping Mexico away from the big inning before Jerrad Ward earned the win in relief. Jupiter hit 16 homers in the seven games.

"They played so much baseball," Jupiter coach Roy Ward said. "We hit the long ball, and they know never to quit. We were in Cooperstown down 9-0 in the last inning and came back and won the ballgame."

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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