San Antonio Titans claim NAFA AA-Major title

Written by Bob on August 21st, 2012

By Eric Gomez
Contributed Story

TOPEKA, KS – The San Antonio Titans swept through the AA-Major World Series after an initial disappointing turnout of teams. As the NAFA AA-Major (Aug. 17-19) kicked off Friday evening, tournament organizers found themselves scrambling to find teams to compete in the high profile tournament.

Teams from the A-division were encouraged to enter the AA-Major, so the tournament went forward, featuring top teams such as the Topeka Toros, New Image (WI), and the San Antonio Titans making their first NAFA World Series appearance in over five years.

A tournament that was supposed to have 10 teams, ended up only having four official AA-Major teams involved. Filling the gaps were willing A-division teams.

The San Antonio Titans, 2012 NAFA AA-Major World Series Champions, from bottom row left, Javi De Los Santos, David Garza Jr., Johnny Villanueva, sponsor Gil Saenz, Derrick Kennedy, David Rocha, Kris Trejo, Paul Maldonado. Back Row, from left, Michael Contreras, sponsor David Garza, Jerry Pyle, Jr., Tony Mancha, Gil Saenz, Eric G. Gomez, and coach Lee Contreras. Courtesy Photo

The Titans kicked off their championship weekend in explosive fashion by defeating the Bradley Braves (MI) 11-0. The Titans followed with a 12-1 victory over Rooters Bar (ND) lead by 18-year-old Venezuelan pitcher Erick Chaparro Saturday afternoon.

This was a game that many thought would feature the hometown favorite Topeka Toros against the Titans. But after a disappointing 5-3 loss to Rooters Bar, the Toros were left fighting through the losers bracket.

First baseman Michael Contreras rips the ball during the NAFA AA-Major World Series. Courtesy Photo

The Titans then faced powerful New Image.

Billed as the “Main Event” Saturday night, the Titans grabbed an early lead against NAFA Hall of Fame pitcher Jeremy Holman (3-2). Titans’ pitcher Tony Mancha drove in Kris Trejo with the game’s only run in a 1-0 victory that sent New Image to the losers bracket.

Mancha was masterful in hurling a perfect game and striking out 16.

New Image bounced back by beating Smalltown, another Wisconsin team, for a rematch with San Antonio. Mancha returned to the circle and was masterful again, leading the Titans to the AA-Major title with a 4-1 victory, Sunday afternoon.

San Antonio jumped out to an early lead, before New Image tied it up with a solo blast, tying the game 1-1 after three innings. The Titans threatened nearly every inning with runners on base, and then finally capitalized.

And again Mancha played a huge part at the plate by belting a bases-clearing triple for the final 5-1 score. Mancha closed the game out with two perfect innings, sending the Titans in a back-slapping, high-fiving celebration over their first NAFA World Series championship in the ball club’s history.

San Antonio allowed only two runs in the tournament, and finished with a 4-0 record. Five Titans were selected to the All-World team.

    2012 NAFA AA-Major All-World team:

    Tony Mancha – 4-0 record, 1.000 batting average
    Kris Trejo – .400 avg., 6 runs
    Paul Maldonado – .500 avg., 5 runs, 3 RBIs, home run
    Gilbert Saenz – .462 avg., 2 runs, RBI
    Derrick Kennedy – .500 avg., 5 runs, 4 RBIs

    San Antonio Titans’ Kris Trejo was selected All-World in the AA-Major championship. Courtesy Photo

    Additional All-World players:

    Kevin Kammueller – Kegel, 2-1, record
    Ken Herbster – Kegel, .429 avg., 4 runs, 5 RBIs
    Jordan Garcia – Toros, .375 avg., RBI
    Chris Leaf – Toros, 400 avg., 4 runs, 7 RBIs
    Mike Gruppen – Smalltown, no statistics available
    Aaron Davis – Smalltown, no statistics available
    Jon Gephart – Smalltown, no statistics available
    Jeremy Holman – New Image, 3-2 record
    Jared Johnson – New Image, .385 avg., run, 2 RBIs
    Nate Berg – New Image, .312 avg., 2 runs
    Chris Agnew – New Image, .333 avg., 3 runs, 4 RBIs
    Chance Schmid – New Image, .294 avg., 3 runs, 3 RBIs

In post-tournament awards ceremony it came as little surprise that Tony Mancha captured the Most Valuable Player and Most Valuable Pitcher awards.

Mancha led all hitters with a 1.000 batting average (9-for-9), one home run, and 10 RBIs. In the circle he finished with a 4-0 record and allowed five hits and two earned runs in 23 innings, while striking out 46, and posting a 0.30 ERA.

    Top Four AA-Major teams:

    1. San Antonio Titans
    2. New Image
    3. Smalltown Fastpitch
    4. Kegel Black Knights

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