Friday, December 12, 2014

2014 IRT New Jersey Open - Quarterfinals

Charlie Pratt is the surprise semi-finalist at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) New Jersey Open in Warren, New Jersey taking out 3rd seed Jose Rojas, 5-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-3, in the quarterfinals on Friday. He'll play in just his second career semi-final on Saturday against 2nd seed Alvaro Beltran.

Alvaro Beltran won the first quarterfinal versus Ben Croft in straight games, 11-2, 12-10, 11-7. He'll play the winner of Jose Rojas and Charlie Pratt in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

But late in game three, Beltran objected to three calls in quick succession with increasing fervour, and we're not sure how he didn't receive at least one technical during those tirades. If Croft had done that he may well have gotten a technical, given his history of objecting to referee decisions. Did Beltran get off lightly there?

To be clear, we like Beltran, and he's generally well behaved on court, often joking. But that doesn't excuse going over the top - repeatedly - after a referee makes a call. And prior to Beltran's outburst he hit a backhand down the line that on video seemed to be a clear skip, but it was called good. Croft questioned it slightly, but didn't make a big deal of it. However, they were still close at that point, and if Croft had won that rally, the outcome of the game may have been different.

Refereeing racquetball is difficult, and the situation is not helped by players making a huge objections to referee's calls. Contrary to what they may believe just because they think the referee has made an error doesn't mean the referee actually made an error.

On the top half of the draw, top seed Rocky Carson had a comfortable win over Alejandro Landa, 11-1, 11-3, 11-7, and he'll play Daniel De La Rosa in the semi-finals, as De La Rosa took out Jansen Allen in four games, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5.

Allen was close in each of the games he lost with the score 6-5 in De La Rosa's favour in each one. But De La Rosa put on that little run of points that was the difference. In game three, Allen had a response, and tied that game at 9-9, but he didn't get any more than that. In games two and four, Allen didn't have a response.

The IRT Network will have the semi-final action beginning at 11 AM and noon with the final at 7 PM Saturday night.

New Jersey Open
Warren, New Jersey - December 11-13, 2014

(with seeding)

1. Rocky Carson d. Alejandro Landa, 11-1, 11-3, 11-7
4. Daniel De La Rosa d. 5. Jansen Allen, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5

6. Charlie Pratt d. 3. Jose Rojas, 5-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-3
2. Alvaro Beltran d. 7. Ben Croft, 11-1, 12-10, 11-7


1. Rocky Carson v. 4. Daniel De La Rosa
2. Alvaro Beltran v. 6. Charlie Pratt

Follow the bouncing ball…

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