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Friday, February 20, 2009
Updated: February 22, 9:36 PM ET
2008 Area Code Baseball: Rangers Coronation

By Andrew Knepper

Texas Rangers 4, Milwaukee Brewers Blue 2

The 2008 Area Code Games came down to this. When the schedule was created a couple of months ago, the conventional thinking was the Rangers and the Brewers Blue would be a great game to cap off the most important week of baseball for the nation's elite prep talent.

The kids from Texas against the kids from California...No one knew that both teams would enter Sunday with a 3-1 record with the winner taking bragging rights for the next year.

The Rangers struck first when they scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning. The inning started with Todd Glaesman got on base via a Brewer error and Chad Kettler reached base on another error. Logan Vick then singled in Glaesman, giving the Rangers a quick 1-0 lead. Cohl Walla grounded to first and his sacrifice brought home Kettler, pushing the Texas lead to 2-0. Vick then came around to score on Cody Robinson's single, extending the lead to 3-0.

Matt Hobgood started on the mound for the Brew Crew and surrendered the three runs in the second inning. The Rangers then struck again in the botom of the third to make it a 4-1 game as the Californians were able to manufacture in the top of the third.

Austin Wilson led things off in the top of the fifth with a single and moved to second when the right fielder Glaesman let the ball past him as the runner moved up to second on the error. Wilson then scored when Spencer Kuehn reached on an errant throw by the Rangers' third baseman. With the Wilson run, the Brewers cut into the Rangers' lead by a run (4-2) but were unable to get anything going offensively over the final two innings.

Rangers' starter Shelby Miller went three innings, surrendering only one run while striking out two. He was then relieved by Chase McDowell who gave up the Brewers' second and final run.

Miller, McDowell and Tyler Duffey all kept the Brewers' bats in check, shutting down a potent offense. Duffey came in and slammed the door shut on the Californians, throwing two scoreless innings to close out the unofficial championship game. The Brewers' Spencer Keuhn had a chance to tie the game with a hit as he came to the plate with runners in scoring position. Keuhn wasn't able to work the count or frazzle the pitcher, as he popped up to the second baseman to end the game.

The Brewers Blue definitely had their chances to win this game, but they left eight men on base. The Rangers standed seven but in the end all that mattered to them was the scoreboard.

With the win, the Texas Rangers ended up a 4-1 record, their only loss coming against the Oakland Athletics on Friday. The Rangers not only took the game, but the title of 2008 Area Code Baseball Games champions.