Saturday, April 30, 2016

Carson & De La Rosa win semi-finals at 2016 IRT Florida tournament

Rocky Carson and Daniel De La Rosa will meet Saturday night in the final of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Florida pro event in Sarasota, Florida after they won their respective semi-finals. Second seed Carson beat 3rd seed Alvaro Beltran, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6, and De La Rosa defeated Sebastian Franco, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6.

Carson got a big lead in the first game, and looked like he’d win it when he was up 9-5. But Beltran battled back using his usual straight lob serve to the right - Carson’s forehand. Carson did have two chances to win game one, serving at 10-8, but he failed to convert them, as Beltran completed the come back, winning 12-10.

In game two, they were close early, and tied at 5-5, and 8-8. But from there Carson got three unanswered points to level the match at a game apiece.

Game three started slowly, as it took minutes before either player scored a point. Carson took the lead at 5-1, and Beltran drew close at 6-5 down. However, that was as many points as Beltran would get, as Carson held him there, and closed out the game with a drive serve ace to the right side, 11-5.

In game four, Beltran got a slight lead at 5-3, but Carson then put on a run of five points to lead 8-5. Beltran called a timeout, but that only put off the inevitable, as Carson went on to win game four, 11-6, and close out the match. Carson’s match winner was an ace drive serve to the left side that cracked out, and was one of several aces by Carson in the match.

De La Rosa and Franco were close early in each of their games, but then De La Rosa took control, and won each of them. Franco did come back from 9-4 down in game one to 9-8, but he couldn’t get any closer than that.

Despite the loss, Franco was in his fourth semi-final of the season Saturday, and only Carson, Beltran, De La Rosa, IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk and Jose Rojas have reached the semi-finals more often.

The final will be shown live via the IRT Network Saturday night at 7:00 PM Eastern.

2016 IRT Florida Tournament, April 28-May 1
Sarasota, Florida

Semi-finals - Saturday

4) Daniel De La Rosa d. Sebastian Franco, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6
2) Rocky Carson d. 3) Alvaro Beltran, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6

Final - Saturday

2) Rocky Carson v. 4) Daniel De La Rosa - 7 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….