Commentary | Bradenton RBI baseball team's surge nearly produces world title

August 7, 2012 

After beginning the tournament 1-2, confidence was surely to be low entering Saturday's portion of the 2012 RBI World Series in Minneapolis.

However, the Bradenton RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) squad took down an undefeated Arizona team 1-0 and edged Detroit 4-2 on Saturday to move it to the championship game that aired on the MLB Network on Monday.

The game, played Sunday, was a heartbreaking, lead-changing affair with the Jackie Robinson RBI team based out of Jersey City, N.J.

Bradenton, affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates, held a 3-1 advantage before giving up four runs in the bottom of the sixth.

Hakeem Rhodes drove in two runs in the top of the seventh to arm Bradenton with another lead.

However, Jackie Robinson RBI -- representing the Mets -- won 8-7 off a bunt single in the bottom of the seventh.

Austin Bingham and Sixto Guerrero each had doubles, while Connor Davis and Gilbert Dodson drove in three and two runs, respectively.Junior Olympians compete

Several Manatee County athletes competed recently in track and field events at the 2012 AAU Junior Olympic Games in Houston.

Bradenton's Shaleiya Lee took seventh place in the girls 800-meter sub youth (13 years old) race with a time of 2:21.88. Miami's Daesha Rogers won the event with a national record time of 2:07.65. Lee also posted a time of 5:08.59 to snag 13th place in the girls 1500-meter run. Rogers set another national record in the event with a time of 4:36.79.

Ellenton's Saraiah Wal

kes took third in the girls 100-meter dash sub-bantam (9 years old) division with a time of 14.24.

Walkes also made the semifinals of the 200-meter dash, but did not start the event.

However, the 400-meter dash proved to be the event she would come closest to winning.

Clocking in at 1:06.57, Walkes grabbed second place behind Dynasty McClennon's, of Humble, Texas, 1:06.22.

Bradenton's Jordan and Taylor Augustyniak competed in the 3000-meter sub youth event. Jordan finished in 35th place with a time of 13:20.58. Taylor placed 38th, 12 seconds behind her sister.

Bradenton's Keith Timmons and Brandon Carnes both ran in the 100 and 200-meter dashes.

Timmons, competing in the intermediate (15 and 16-year-old) division was eliminated after a time of 11.91 in the 100-meter preliminaries. Only the top 24 advanced to the semifinals, and Timmons logged a 70th place showing.

However, he did secure a spot in the finals of the 200-meter dash.

Timmons finished in eight place after a time of 25.51 in that event.

Meanwhile, Carnes was bounced from the semifinal rounds in both of his events. Competing in the young (17-18s) division, Carnes ran a 10.88 100-meter dash time for 13th place in the semis. Only the top eight progressed.

In the 200-meters, Carnes ran the event in 22.13 seconds to grab 20th place. Again, just the top eight advanced.

Cal Ripken run ends

The Manatee Cal Ripken 13-15 year old All-Star team based out of Heritage Harbour got off to a good start in last week's Southeast Regional tournament held in Ocala.

The club won its first game 12-4 over Columbus, Ga. However, Manatee lost its second game on Thursday to Vienna, Va., 9-5 and entered the loser's bracket of the double-elimination tourney.

The team representing James Island, S.C., eliminated Manatee from the competition 13-8.

Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017 or via email at jdill@bradenton.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill or via Facebook at Jason Dill Bradenton Herald.

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