Friday, March 25, 2011

IRT - Party with the Pros in St Louis - QFs

Andy Hawthorne was oh, so close to his first career semi-final in a Tier 1 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) tournament, but Rocky Carson, former IRT #1, came back in the fifth game to crush Hawthorne's hopes at the Party with the Pros tournament in St. Louis, Missouri.

Hawthorne had leads of 6-1 and 9-4 in game five, but couldn't get any more than that, as Carson came back to win it by a final score line of 5-11, 11-6, 11-5, 10-12, 11-9. Carson hit two drive serve aces to the left side for points 6 and 7, and the 8th point came on a Hawthorne skip after on what looked like a set up, although he had to turn and follow the ball off the back wall to the right side wall. Hawthorne made similar errors earlier in game five.

The next two quarter finals combined took about half as long as the Carson and Hawthorne. IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk defeated Charlie Pratt, 11-2, 11-2, 11-4, and Jack Huczek defeated Shane Vanderson, 11-4, 11-4, 11-7.

In the last quarter final of the day, Ben Croft survived a battle with Tony Carson by winning it in the fifth game, 11-9, 8-11, 11-3, 12-10, 11-8. Carson drove served for most of the match while Croft did mostly high lob serves along the right wall - Carson's forehand side.

In game 5, Croft was up 7-1 and 9-4, but Carson closed the gap to 9-8. Then after winning three straight rallies to make it 9-8 Carson drove serve to the left and Croft returned it with a cross court ceiling ball that caught right in the back right corner and Carson just couldn't it to the front wall. Carson didn't score a point after that.

Saturday's semi-finals begin at 4 PM CDT and will be web cast via the IRT Network.

The Racquetball Blog often tweets about the matches live. Follow us on Twitter @racquetballblog.

2011 Party with the Pros - St Louis, Missouri

Quarter finals - Friday

Kane Waselenchuk d. Charlie Pratt, 11-2, 11-2, 11-4
Ben Croft d. Tony Carson, 11-9, 8-11, 11-3, 12-10, 11-8

Jack Huczek d. Shane Vanderson, 11-4, 11-4, 11-7
Rocky Carson d. Andy Hawthorne, 5-11, 11-6, 11-5, 10-12, 11-9

Semi-finals - Saturday

Kane Waselenchuk v. Ben Croft - 5 PM CDT
Rocky Carson v. Jack Huczek - 4 PM CDT

Follow the bouncing ball....

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