Under an overcast sky, the temperature in Weimar, Texas, was 95 degrees at the start of Sunday afternoon’s Babe Ruth (16-18) World Series game.
As time passed and the sky cleared, the mercury hit 101.
Lansing Redbirds pitcher Dominic Albanese had similar momentum.
The Brother Rice grad threw a four-hit shutout to give his team a 3-0 win over Eagle Pass (Texas) in pool play at the World Series. Lansing is now 1-1 in pool play with a 10:30 a.m. contest against Cape Cod (Mass.) today and a Wednesday evening showdown with Mid County (Texas) still to play.
“It was key today to go out and get a 'W',” Redbirds manager Jacob Kosiara said via phone. “It was important for the kids’ confidence more than anything. We talked to them about how they belong and how we can compete with anybody. We’re playing our brand of baseball, and nothing’s changed.”
Albanese’s gem would have seemed highly unlikely a few months ago.
Primarily used as an outfielder, the South Suburban College recruit threw only two innings in high school ball. On Sunday he went the distance with one walk and five strikeouts, keeping his pitch count below 75.
“He’s been really good and done some good work throughout the summer and parlayed that into some great things,” Kosiara said. “He’s been phenomenal the last three weeks.”
Eagle Pass threatened with runners on first and third with one out in the first inning.
On a grounder to third base, Jake Lorenz took the relay throw at second and threw home when he saw the runner sprinting to first was going to be safe.
“That was the only real threat we had all day,” Kosiara said.
Albanese’s support came through single runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings. The first run scored when Austin Spearson singled to drive in Justin Pasko. The final run crossed on a balk.
The only bittersweet part of the win was Kosiara’s imminent departure.
His wife is nine months pregnant with their first child and due any day now. Assistant coaches Anthony Rosati and Mike Mosele will be in charge the rest of the week.