Glowworms overcome more than loss

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Glowworm second baseman Peter Rodriguez makes a play during the first championship game of the Newton Mexican-American Men’s Fast-Pitch Softball Tournament. Rodriguez went three for three hitting in the championship games, hitting a home run and driving in six runs.

The Glowworms of San Antonio had to overcome some adversity to win the 73rd Newton Mexican-American Men’s Fast-Pitch Softball Tournament Saturday and Sunday, but the adversity on the field was nothing compared to what the team had to endure off the field.

Kansas City Bravos pitcher Lalo Escobedo pitched a win in the first championship game of the 73rd Newton Mexican-American Men’s Fast-Pitch Softball Tournament. Lalo struck out seven.

The tournament was the first for the team since 2019. In that span of inactivity, team members lost a number of family members — many to COVID-19.

“We came all the way here for family,” Glowworms manager David Rios said. “We want to thank all of the family watching us and who made the long drive. … All the things we went through, this ain’t nothing.”

Glowworm shortstop Derrick Gomez throws out a runner during play against the Kansas City Bravos.

The Glowworms claim their first title in the Newton tourney. The team took second in 2019.

In the championships, the Glowworms fell to the Kansas City Bravos 5-3 in the first game, but won the deciding game 8-1 in five innings on the seven-run rule.

Jandial Olias of the Glowworms pitches in the finals of the 73rd Newton Mexican-American Men’s Fast-Pitch Softball Tournament. Olias struck out nine in a 5-3 loss.
Kansas City Bravios Trevor Tarvale awaits a pitch during play against the Glowworms in the finals of the 73rd Newton Mexican-American Men’s Fast-Pitch Softball Tournament.

The Glowworms were led in the deciding championship game by pitcher Carlos Menchaca, who struck out nine batters in a complete-game win, allowing a run on three hits.

“The curveball was working,” Menchaca said. “We just lost our confidence (in the first game). We knew we would come back in win. In baseball or softball, it comes and it goes. Today, it came around.”

Menchaca was named the most valuable pitcher of the tournament.

Peter Rodriguez led the Glowworms at the plate in the second game, going two for two hitting with a home run and four RBIs. He was one for one hitting in the first game with two RBIs, but had what appeared to be a home run in the first game ruled foul by just inches.

More:73rd Newton Mexican-American Men's Fast-Pitch Softball Tournament Opening Ceremonies

“I thought it was fair, but OK,” Rodriguez said. “This was personal. This was for family. There was a lot on the line for this one. It wasn’t just me. I had some good swings and some things go my way, but that was because of the people watching down. The team only made me better. I couldn’t let them down. I wasn’t going to let them down.”

In the second game, the Glowworms scored in every inning. The Bravos scored a run in the top of the fourth inning.

Yusuf Davis finished two for four hitting for the Glowworms in the second game, four for eight in the championship series. Marc Schejtman went two for three in the second game.

In the first game, the Glowworms scored took a 2-0 lead through three innings.

The Bravos came back in the bottom of the sixth with five runs. Brian Gomez hit a two-run home run in the inning.

An error with two outs in the top of the seventh set up an RBI triple for Rodriguez.

Lalo Escobedo pitched the win for the Bravos. Jandial Olias took the loss for the Glowworms.

“We lost the game, but we weren’t going to lose the tournament,” Rodriguez said. “I kept telling everyone we’re still going to win. Just trust the process. I just couldn’t tell them how we were going to win. I knew we would do it.”

“The first game was tough,” Rios said. “We had a home run taken away from us. The guys said don’t worry, we’ll get through it. … There were no adjustments, we just had to come through.”

Rios said the team may compete at an ASA national event later this summer in Oklahoma City.

J Train of Newton finished third.

The defending runner-up Kansas City Indios finished fourth. The defending champion Big Eagle Express and the Ray Ray Misfits tied for fifth.

Championship bracket

Prelim round

Los Rayos 13, Basic Brown 4

First round

Big Eagle Express 7, Los Rayos 1

Kansas City Eagles 2, Kansas City Outlaws 0

Kansas City Bravos 5, GES Solutions 3

Glowworms 8, Hutchinson Blue Jays 0

Kansas City Indios 7, Oklahoma Syko 2

J Train 7, Southwest Nationz 0

Newton Mexican-American Athletic Club 7, Kansas City Bandidos 3

Ray Ray Misfits 2, Kansas City Locos 0

Second round

Big Eagle Express 8, Kansas City Eagles 1

Glowworms 6, Kansas City Bravos 3

J Train 6, Kansas City Indios 3

Ray Ray Misfits 2, Newton Mexican-American Athletic Club 0

Quarterfinals

J Train 3, Ray Ray Misfits 0

Glowworms 4, Big Eagle Express 1

Semifinals

Glowworms 7, J Train 0

Glowworms;230;02;—;7;9;0

J Train;000;00;—;0;2;0

Mecekka (W) and Castillo; Ad.Garcia (L) and Ar.Garcia II. HR — G: P.Rodriguez.

Consolation bracket

Prelim round

Oklahoma Syko 19, Basic Brown 1

First round

Kansas City Locos 11, Kansas City Bandidos 0

Hutchinson Blue Jays 4, GES Solutions 2

Kansas City Outlaws 15, Los Rayos 1

Oklahoma Syko 11, Southwest Nationz 3

Second round

Hutchison Blue Jays 4, Newton Mexican-American Athletic Club 3

Kansas City Bravos 8, Kansas City Locos 0

Kansas City Indios 9, Kansas City Outlaws 2

Kansas City Eagles 4, Oklahoma Syko 3

Third round

Kansas City Indios 10, Hutchinson Blue Jays 5

Kansas City Bravos 8, Kansas City Eagles 1

Fourth round

Kansas City Indios 7, Big Eagle Express 2

Kansas City Bravos 4, Ray Ray Misfits 2

Quarterfinals

Kansas City Bravos 2, Kansas City Indios 1

Semifinals

Kansas City Bravos 5, J Train 0

J Train;000;00;—;0;2;0

KC Bravos;200;03;—;5;5;0

Bruguner (L) and Old Lodge; Jesus (W) and Alex.

Championship Game 1

KC Bravos 5, Glowworms 3

Glowworms;ab;r;h;bi

Davis cf;4;2;2;0

Menchaca 2b;4;1;1;0

Rodriguez 3b;1;0;1;2

Prishkar 1b;2;0;1;0

Torres dp;3;0;0;0

S.Gomez rf;3;0;0;0

D.Gomez ss;3;0;0;0

Govea lf;3;0;0;0

Castillo c;3;0;1;0

TOTALS;26;3;6;2

KC Bravos;ab;r;h;bi

A.Diaz rf;3;0;0;0

Gomez 2b;3;1;2;2

Colemenarez ss;3;1;1;0

Tarvale dp;3;1;1;0

Lopez c;3;1;2;1

Perez 3b;2;0;0;0

Dwayne 1b;3;0;1;2

Murphy cf;3;0;0;0

E.Diaz III lf;2;1;0;0

TOTALS;25;5;7;5

Glowworms;101;000;1;—;3

KC Bravos;000;005;x;—;5

E — Gomez. DP — Glowworms. LOB — Glo. 7, KCB 4. 2B — Dwayne. 3B — Rodriguez. HR — Gomez. SB — Davis 2. Sac. Fly — Rodriguez.

Glowworms;ip;h;r;er;bb;k

Olias, L;6;7;5;5;3;9

KC Bravos;ip;h;r;er;bb;k

Escobedo, W;7;6;3;2;1;7

WP — Escobedo. IBB — Prishkar (Lalo). Time — 2:02.

Championship Game 2

Glowworms 8, KC Bravos 1

(5 innings, run rule)

KC Bravos;ab;r;h;bi

A.Diaz rf;2;0;0;0

Gomez 2b;2;1;1;0

Colmenarez ss;2;0;0;0

Tarvale dp;2;0;0;0

Lopez c;1;0;0;0

T.Diaz Jr. c;1;0;1;1

Perez 3b;2;0;0;0

Dwayne 1b;2;0;1;0

Murphy cf;2;0;0;0

E.Diaz III lf;2;0;0;0

TOTALS;18;1;3;1

Glowworms;ab;r;h;bi

Davis cf;4;1;2;1

Menchaca p;1;2;1;0

Rodriguez 2b;2;1;2;4

Prishkar 1b;2;0;0;0

Torres 3b;2;0;0;0

S.Gomez rf;2;0;0;0

D.Gomez ss;3;0;0;0

Schejtman lf;3;3;2;0

Castillo c;2;1;1;2

TOTALS;21;8;8;7

KC Bravos;000;10;—;1

Glowworms;221;21;—;8

There were two outs when the game ended.

LOB — KCB 2, Glo. 5. 2B — Davis, Rodriguez, Dwayne. 3B — Schejtman, Davis. HR — Rodriuez. SB — Govea-cr 2, Menchacha. Sac. Fly — Castillo.

KC Bravos;ip;h;r;er;bb;k

Felix, L;6.2;8;8;8;6;3

Glowworms;ip;h;r;er;bb;k

Menchaca, W;5;3;1;1;0;9

WP — Felix 2, Menchaca. PB — Alex. Batter’s Int. — Davis. Time — 1:28.

All-Tournament Team

Terry Bruguier, J Train

Paco Salazar, J Train

Konner Jaso, J Train

Peter Rodriguez, Glowworms

Edger Prishkar, Glowworms

Yusuf Davis, Glowworms

Lalo Escobedo, KC Bravos

Aaron Diaz, KC Bravos

Carlos Colmenarez, KC Bravos

Most valuable pitcher — Carlos Menchaca, Glowworms

Most valuable catcher — Alex Lopez, KC Bravos

Most valuable player — Brian Gomez, KC Bravos

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com