Lewis Drug IRT Pro/Am Recap

Mosocos beats #1 DLR to cement claim to #1. Photo unk from Bolivian IRIS

Congrats to your winners on the weekend:

– Singles: Conrrado Moscoso

– Doubles; Daniel De La Rosa & Javier Mar

Moscoso secures his 5th pro tour win, breaking a 5-way tie for 20th place and now sits tied at 19th ever with Tim Doyle. He also moves ahead of Andy Roberts for 7th place in Career W/L of all time.

Mar wins his 6th pro doubles title, but the first one he’s won without long-time partner Montoya. DLR gets his 11th pro doubles title, his first without his own long time partner Alvaro Beltran

Singles Match report in PRS DB: https://rball.pro/ejz

Doubles Match report in PRS DB: https://rball.pro/kv9

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=40409


Lets review the notable matches in the Singles draw.

Singles Match report in the PRS database:


In the 64s and 32s, no real surprises to this observer.

– Just one tie-breaker: Utah’s Anthony Martin going deep to take out Tanner Gross 13,(14),8.

– Jordan Barth dug deep in both games to come back against Montana amateur Ty Hedalen to advance 14,12.

– Argentina’s Diego García cruised past @Sam Bredenbeck in game one 15-2 then held on for a 2,12 win to advance in the 16/17 seed match.

– @Adam Manilla made fast work of Bolivian u21 @Gerson Miranda 2,6. Miranda showed he has a bit of work to do to be broaching the top 10.

Erick Trujillo topped Canadian veteran Lee Connell 10,7 to move into the 16s.

– Costa Rica’s Andres Acuña won a straightforward 7,10 match over Barth, making it much less close than I anticipated.


In the 16s, no big surprises for me.

– In the 8/9, Manilla got a solid win over Mario Mercado to get another pro quarter.

– As predicted, #12 @Javier Mar ousted #5 Alejandro Landa to move on.

– #4 Portillo destroyed his younger Mexican countryman Trujillo 0,2.

– #6 @Jake Bredenbeck was pushed to a breaker by Illinois-based pro Thomas Carter but moved on.

– As was rumored earlier in the week, Samuel Murray missed a second straight event with a lingering injury, defaulting to Acuna.


In the Quarters: a couple of upsets

– #4 Portillo held serve and ousted #12 Mar in two. I thought this might go the other way, but Lalo played well to outclass his fellow control specialist.

– #6 Jake got a solid win, taking out #3 Andree Parrilla in two. These two met over and over on the WRT adn now they’re frequently meeting on the IRT.


In the Semis: two straightforward wins for the top 2 seeds:

– #1 Moscoso took out #4 Lalo in two straight. These two had played 3 times previously, all tiebreakers. But Conrrado played solid ball to win 10,7.

– #2 DLR was pressed by #6 Jake in both games but persevered 13,8 to get to the final.

In the Finals, for the second event running we get #1 vs #2, Moscoso vs De La Rosa. After watching DLR’s master class in control to win in Austin, I thought going in he was the favorite, but I discounted the effect the panel walls would have on the Gearbox ball and specifically Moscoso’s serve. Moscoso served lights out this match, scoring aces left and right and controlled the match for long swaths. DLR was flummoxed and flustered and could not consistently score points, and that was the match. Moscoso wins 9,12.


Points Implications of results

Irrespective of this result, Moscoso was going to keep the #1 seed thanks to this tournament replacing the 2021 Arizona open (which Canrrado did not play). With the win suddenly he’s got a sizeable gap in front; nearly 500 points.

The rest of the results here gave us some interesting points machinations:

– Portillo will overtake Parrilla for #3 on tour.

– Jake moves up to #5 as Landa continues to slip with two one and dones in a row.

– Despite missing the event to receive an award back home, Montoya moves up to #8.

– Acuna is now in the top 10.

– Mercado and Carson take a big slip, dropping to #12 and #13 respectively. Its amazing how quickly Rocky has been falling by missing 3 straight events.

– Trujillo is now ranked #16, which puts him safely into the “second bye” section and given the odds of several players ahead of him missing each event right now, gives him an even better seed going forward.

– Diego Garcia is now #24.


Doubles review

The doubles draw went perfectly chalk to the final, with all expected seeds winning. That chalkiness continued in the final, as #1 seeds team PK DLR/Mar eked out a win over #2 Landa/Moscoso.


Men’s Open, other draws

– Alan Natera went breaker to top Bolivian Miranda to take Men’s Open singles.

– Trujillo got a surprising win over Garcia to take the IRT U21. He won 8,5 and made a statement.

– @Vallana Perault took the 3-person Women’s Open RR draw.

– the legend @Ruben Gonzalez flew in from HHI to compete in Centurian Doubles, winning the title with Montana’s Hedalen. They took out some tough teams, including Minor/Coyle in the group stage and Kisling/Adam in the final.


Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew. Adam Manilla did a fantastic guest spot at the final and has a future in streaming.

Thanks to the Tourney Director Mark Gibbs for putting this event on!


Next up?

Per our handy master racquetball calendar …


In two weeks’ time its Nationals time. USAR is holding National Doubles with team qualifying along with National Amateur singles in Arizona. Mexico was scheduled to hold its Nationals but I’ve yet to see an R2 site. And Canada is having its 2nd qualifier in Grand Prairie. Lots of ball going on.



43rd Annual Lewis Drug Pro/Am Preview

Can Javier Mar make another deep run in Sioux Falls? Photo Kevin Savory 2019 US Open

Welcome to one of the longest running tournaments in the world, and certainly the longest running Pro tournament that we have in the sport. The Lewis Drug event has been a pro event (either a satellite or a full Tier 1 event) for all 43 years of its existence, and it has become a must-play for many pros on tour.

We’ve been missing Sioux Falls; it hasn’t been played since January of 2020 thanks to Covid concerns the last two years, but we’re back and the community is ready. The event gets a ton of local media coverage, with all the local TV stations and the local paper well-covering the event.

Tournament Director and IRT part-owner Mark Gibbs puts on a fantastic event every year, guarantees RR competitions, throws a banquet every year, and always draws a solid crowd of pros and top amateurs from the Midwest and Canada.

This year is no different, as we get to see no less than 5 members of the Canadian National team competing, one of seven different countries represented at this event.

R2 Sports App link: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=40409

Thirty players are entered into singles draw. Top-20 players missing this week include #8 Montoya, #10 Carson (semi retiring), #11 Waselenchuk (injured), #16 Franco, #17 Fernandez, #19 Garay, and #20 Beltran (injured). These absences give in particular @Erick Trujillo a huge boost; he’s ranked 18th but is the 13 seed here. Furthermore, @Robert Collin and @Sam Bredenbeck both slip into the top 16 despite being deep into the 20s in the rankings.


Lets preview the draw. Here’s some notable qualifying matches that i’m looking forward to:

In the round of 64, most of the Travelling Canadians have a play in thanks to having so few IRT points. Look for the likes of Tanner Prentice , Lee Connell , and @Kurtis Cullen to make some noise. Also look for top mid-west players like Jordan Barth , John Goth , and of course our Montana contingent Matthew Ivar Majxner and @Ty Hedalen to compete well.


Projecting the 32s: I see some fun matches here.

– In the 16/17 matchup, Diego García will take on the younger Bredenbeck in a competition to see who takes on the new #1.

– #9 Adam Manilla projects to face the upstart Bolivian former junior world 18U champ Gerson Miranda . Miranda is a tough out and Manilla will have his hands full here.

– #12 @Javier Mar projects to face the top Minnesotan Goth in the 32s. Goth is a power player who trains regularly with the Bredenbecks and is no slouch. Mar must focus here.

– The match of the round may be #10 Andres Acuña versus Barth. For those of you not familiar with Barth’s resume, he owns 9 US Junior National titles and another 3 Junior world titles; he’s the same age-class as current IRT #4 Eduardo Portillo and beat Lalo several times internationally as kids. Barth basically stopped playing competitive racquetball to focus on a baseball career at age 17, and played in both College and briefly professionally. He’s one of the more highly ranked players on USAR’s rankings right now, and Acuna will have to be on his toes for this match.


Round of 16: thanks to the absenses and the recent ranking shuffling, we have a ton of really intriguing round of 16 matches.

– #1 Conrrado Moscoso projects to face Garcia in my predictions. I don’t think Garcia is winning, but he’ll get some points.

– In the 8/9, Manilla vs @Mario Mercado is a close one: these two are neck and neck in my personal rankings and I think we get a slight upset with Manilla as the 9th seed winning.

– 5/12: Alejandro Landa has seen his ranking slide as of late and made it well known he can’t stand the Gearbox ball; he’s set to face the classy Javier Mar here, and I think Mar can beat him. They’ve split match-ups in the past, but i think they’re heading in opposite directions on tour right now.

– #4 Portillo versus #13 Trujillo; While I don’t think Trujillo is ready to beat Lalo, this is another excellent test for the rising junior Mexican star.

– #3 Andree Parrilla projects to get #14 Alan Natera in the 16s. Natera of course is coming off a solid tournament in Austin. Andree must be breathing a sigh of relief to get a reasonable round of 16 matchup; he’s drawn Mar twice in the past few months for early exits.

– #6 Jake Bredenbeck likely draws fellow USA player @Thomas Carter in a manageable match for him.

– #7 Samuel Murray , who bowed out of the last event with the same injury that cost him the November Canadian qualifier final, projects to face the Acuna/Barth winner. Keep your eye out for a possibly still hampered Murray to struggle here and give an upset winner an easy ride into the quarters.

– #2 Daniel De La Rosa , fresh off his PPA 2023 pro pickleball debut last week in Palm Springs, trades 75 and sunny for 25 and windy in South Dakota and likely takes on IRT vet lefty Collins in his opener.


Projected Qtrs:

– #1 Moscoso over Manilla: Conrrado benefits from being the top seed with the most straight-forward quarter final matchup.

– #12 Mar over #4 Portillo; both play similarly; Mar is better at it.

– #6 Jake over #3 Andree: Parrilla never really plays well in SD, and this is a rematch of the Portland semi, also a Jake win. I like the hot hand.

– #2 DLR makes fast work of the Costa Rican Acuna in this quarter.


– Moscoso over Mar; a rematch of the semis in Austin; Mar kept it close because he’s quality, but Moscoso will prevail because he’s better.

– DLR over Jake: Jake has pushed DLR in the past, but not this weekend.

Finals; DLR over Moscoso, again. DLR prevailed in two close games in Austin, which were cement courts that mitigated the new slower ball a bit. I think we’re going to see a similar game in the SD final. DLR just does not make mistakes and plays patient racquetball. Moscoso does not; he is a shooter, goes for low-percentage shots, makes a ton of them, but misses enough to cost him against top players. Moscoso may be #1, but DLR is a better strategist right now.

By the way, as I noted in my in-depth review of “Why Moscoso became #1 even though Daniel beat him head to head last week” … Moscoso will REMAIN #1 this weekend irrespective of results. That’s because he’s defending zero points from the next tournament to expire (Arizona 2021) so he can only improve his lead at the top.


Doubles review

Montoya’s absence means Mar teams up with a new partner … and he picks another fellow Mexican, fellow Pro Kennex player, and fellow top doubles player who also needs a new partner in DLR. A precursor of a more frequent pairing going forward?

It is slightly curious that DLR chose not to play with Landa, with whom he’s playing in two weeks’ time at USAR nationals (That’s a whole ‘nother story, why DLR is possibly converting after decades of playing/representing Mexico). But Landa has picked up Moscoso and is the #2 seed. It’s hard to envision a scenario where these two teams are upset by anyone prior to the final; team Dovetail at #3 (Acuna/Lalo) will try, as with the Bredenbeck brothers at #4, but both will fail.

In the final, I think a DLR/Mar pairing is unbeatable.


Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the IRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live. Look for Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew all weekend on the mike, calling the shots!

3rd Average Joe’s tournament Recap, hosted by the Kelley brothers

Sam Kelley joined his brother as past winners of their namesake tourney. Photo Ken Fife Sept 2021

The Kelley brothers hosted 26 of their closest friends this past weekend for the third installment of the “Average Joes” event, held at their private court on the grounds of their New Jersey Estate.

They got the regular East Coast and New England crew that traveled for the event, but they also got players from far and wide, from Ohio to Texas. A fun time all weekend.

Past results and re-caps:

– 1st annual in March 2021: https://rball.pro/7i4 . Won by Joe Kelley

– 2nd event in Oct 2021: https://rball.pro/ts0 . Won by Kyle Ulliman

Here’s a recap of the action from the 3rd installment:

In the Singles…

The top half featured a big upset early, as #1 seeded Ben Bleyer was taken out by Connecticut #1 and 9th seed here Jose Flores Jr in the quarters. Flores couldn’t capitalize on the big win though, falling in the semis to #5 seed and host @Samuel Kelley. Kelley had gotten his own big upset, topping former Massachusetts #1 and now a new Washington DC area resident John Behm in the quarters before advancing past Flores to get to the final.

From the bottom half, the draw went mostly chalk, with #3 seed and co-host @Joe Kelley advancing over NY junior phenom @Josh Shea (aka “Baby S”) to meet top Ohio player @Victor Migliore in the other semi. Victor advanced to face S.Kelly in the final.

Kelley and Migliore battled it out in the final, and Sam took the title at his namesake “Average Joe” event.


This year’s event featured Doubles for the first time. Here’s a recap of the Doubles draw:

It was a 14-team draw, straight up single elimination.

From the top half, the draw went chalk, as #1 seeds the Kelley brothers used their Lefty/Righty combination to top #4 seeded Derek Ott and Texas junior @Cole Sendrey

to make the final.

From the bottom half, #3 seeds team Maryland Dylan Pruitt and Bleyer upset the 2nd seeded team of Josh Shea and @anthony Armanouse (aka “Moose”) to make the final.

In the final, Team Maryland topped the #1 seeds and hosts to take the title.


A 28-person draw finishing both a Singles and a Doubles draw in a 3-day weekend is awesome, and lays out a blueprint for a possible future pro event on the grounds. Hey, we can dream right?

Congrats to the players and the winners.

2023 IRT Longhorn Open Recap

DLR wins a scintillating final over his closest rival Moscoso. Photo US Open 2019, Photographer Kevin Savory

Congrats to your Pro winners on the weekend:

– Singles: Daniel De La Rosa

– Doubles: Rodrigo Montoya & Javier Mar

This is DLR’s 12th pro singles title, and he closes in on @Dave Peck for 12th all time.

Montoya & Mar win their 5th pro doubles title ttogether and strengthen their hold on #1.

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39964

Match reports in the PRS database:

Singles: https://rball.pro/sa1

Doubles: https://rball.pro/4gh


Lets review the notable matches in the Singles draw.


In the 128s and 64s:

– The match of the opening qualifying rounds did not seem to disappoint, as Diego García got by Alejandro Cardona 14,10. Wish we had a live-stream somewhere of the match.

– As predicted, the two top U21 internationals debuting in this event won in the 128s and 64s to get to the main draw. Mexico’s @Jose Carlos Ramos cruised past Maryland’s @Eridson Lopez in the opener then topped #18 seed Erick Cuevas 10,11 to force a meeting with Mar.

– Meanwhile at the top of the qualifying draw, former 18U world champ @Gerson Miranda topped New York’s Josue Perdomo in the opener, then went breaker to down veteran tour player and #17 seed @Robert Collin to setup a meeting with another top junior U21 player in Trujillo.


In the 32s:

– Trujillo topped Miranda in a battle of former World 18U champs, and fittingly it went breaker. I hope we see more of the Bolivian; he’s got game.

– Alan Natera got a great win over Sebastian Fernandez , holding off match point against in game two and then winning the breaker 11-9. This is Natera’s best win since this event in 2020, when he topped Bredenbeck at this same juncture.

– Andres Acuña got a solid win over upstart Garcia 11,7 in a match I thought could go the other way. This opens up the draw for Acuna, who could easily make a quarter’s run.

Anthony Martin got his second walk-over in a row, having gotten a wbf-ns over Zelada in the 64s then over Franco in the 32s. One has to wonder if these two players both had the same flight cancelled, being that they’re both coming from BWI (not for nothing, a big Southwest airport, and Southwest continues to have major operational issues in the wake of weather issues over the past couple of weeks).

– Interestingly another “Team Zurek” guy in Eduardo Garay no showed as well, giving Jaime Martell a clear shot into the 16s.

– @Thomas Carter held serve and topped big hitting Sam Bredenbeck in two. A solid win for Carter to hold serve against a player he should beat.


In the 16s, multiple upsets, some of which were predictable, some not.

– In the 8/9 match, Adam Manilla gave @Rodrigo Montoya everything he could handle, going to the brink and losing 11-10.

– A career best win for Carter, who topped #5 @Alejandro Landa 13,10 to move into the quarters. Landa seemed none too pleased with the ball, describing the play in Texas this weekend as being closer to squash than racquetball.

– #10 Acuna made quick work of #7 Mario Mercado 7,7, the only guy who seemed to make his flight from the Baltimore suburbs.

– Lastly, for the third time in the last 10 months, Andree Parrilla was upset in the 16s as a #1 or #2 seed. This time, a repeat of what happened in Maryland last September, as #15 @Javier Mar flummoxed Andree with excellent serving tactics in games 2 and 3 to frustrate the #2 player and knock him out early.


In the Quarters, no real surprises

– #1 DLR went toe to toe with #8 Montoya, who last met in the final of the Dovetail Open in Sarasota. Game one was a tense tactical back and forth affair that looked for a while like a 15-14 game before DLR pulled away at 9-9 to win 15-9. Game two was anti-climactic, as DLR seemed to have solved the new ball and played with more patience and won going away.

– #4 @Eduardo Portilla absolutely blasted surprise quarterfinalist Carter 1,4.

– #3 Conrrado Moscoso won in two solid games against Jake Bredenbeck 11,10.

– #15 Mar kept his tournament going, taking two close tactical games from the master tactician #10 Acuna 13,13.


In the Semis, the top two players in the world not named Kane advanced.

– #1 DLR cruised past #4 Lalo 8,7

– #3 Conrrado handled #15 Mar 10,12, mounting a furious comeback in game two to do so.

In the Finals, we got the match we wanted and that I predicted. These two had met 5 times previously: twice internationally in 2015 (1-1), then three times professionally. Conrrado beat DLR at the 2019 US Open in the semis before losing the final to Kane in his real eye opening debut domestically, then DLR beat him at the Lewis Drug a few months later, then they last faced off in the finals of the 2021 Denver event, another DLR win.

The neutrals were not disappointed. The two played a 40+ minute back and forth affair in game 1, with neither player backing down and little separating them. Moscoso made it to game point first but could not convert; DLR did, winning game one 15-14.

Game two featured DLR jumping ahead and threatening to run away with it, but Conrrado crawled back. Then Moscoso got the lead, and DLR clawed back. A couple of collisions and a couple of missed shots made the difference at the back end of game 2, as DLR pulled away and took the match 15-14, 15-12.

It was a statement win, the current (for now) #1 player taking out the upstart and threatening player who looked set to take the top spot.


Points Implications of results:

Despite his win, DLR will drop from the #1 ranking on tour, and Moscoso will ascend to #1 when the updated rankings come out. That’s because this event expires the 2021 US Open, won by DLR (and worth 600 points). Moscoso lost in the quarters there, so he’s gaining enough points on DLR with the finals appearance here to overtake both him and Parrilla (whose round of 16 exit really hurt him) for the #1 spot.

Other interesting moves:

– Jake should move up to #6, his career high.

– Kane and Rocky will drop to #10 and #11 respectively with the no-shows.

– This will move Mercado and Montoya up to the 8 and 9 spots, meaning we’re possibly projecting Montoya to still be facing the #1 seed in the quarters.

– Carter will move up to #14, which may be his career high as well.

– Mar will jump up from #19 to #15. He’s still a ways from a protected seed, but with a few players above him almost guaranteed to be missing from the next event, he’s gotta like his future draws.

– Trujillo is now officially inside the top 20 and continues to get the wins he expects.

– Lastly, Keller, the 2021 US Open finalist, loses a ton of points and drops from 14 to outside the top 20.


Doubles review:

The #1 doubles team in the world Montoya & Mar took the Doubles title over #2 Landa/Moscoso with little fanfare in a match played after the scintillating singles pro file. The doubles draw was quite chalk-y; there was exactly one upset by seed the entire draw, that being the no-show loss when Garay/Franco missed the tournament as the #6 doubles team.


Other Notable draws:

– Men’s Open: IRT touring pro Alan Natera took the Men’s Open draw, defeating Texas 16U junior Cole Sendrey in the final. Sendrey took out the #2 and #3 open seeds to get to the final (Martin and Pruitt), a great tourney. LPRT top player Erika Manilla entered the Men’s Open but lost in the first round.

– Women’s Open: Hollie Scott took out newly crowned World 16U champ Naomi Ros to take the Women’s Open title.

– Husband/Wife team Carla Munoz and Natera took the Men’s Open Doubles draw, defeating NorCal duo @Will Reynolds and @Israel Torres in the final.

– Ros teamed with fellow junior @Estefania Perez-Picon to take the Women’s Open Doubles crown. Fellow juniors Wargo and Diaz came in 2nd.

– Mixed open was won by Scott and @DDiego Gastel , topping Pruitt & Ros in the final.

Lastly, a shout out to the Men’s A draw. Normally at these pro events, the largest division by entrants is always the Men’s pro singles. Not here, not t his weekend. No fewer than 51 players entered Men’s A. The semis featured the #9 seed Michael Fuller, the #45 seed in Jesus Jaquez, the #46 seed in Christian Treviato, and the #39 seed in Alfredo Estrada. Jaquez (from Chihuahua) toped Treviato (from Monterrey) in an all-Mexican final.


Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew. They got some great help along the way from Alexis Iwaasa and from tourney director Soly Kor who was on the mike for the pro final.

Thanks to the Tourney Director Kor for putting this event on! It was great to be back in Austin after a two year hiatus.

Reminder to Players! Please like and follow this page so that when I tag you, you see it. Facebook will only retain tags of people that like/follow a page, which means lots of you are not getting the notoriety of getting tagged and noticed on Facebook. If your name is here and it isn’t tagged … it probably means I attempted to tag you but Facebook stripped it.


Next up?

Per our handy master racquetball calendar …


Next weekend is the long-running Wintergreen tournament in Maryland, which is getting some attention as Moscoso just committed to play it. Look for it to have some last minute sign-ups to get a shot at the Bolivian.

the following week is the Lewis Drug, always a tour favorite.



2023 IRT Longhorn Open Preview

Another win for Moscoso? Photo US Open 2019, Photographer Kevin Savory

One of the biggest events (by participation) of the year upon us, and for the first time since Covid hit, the Longhorn open is back on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin. More than 380 pros and amateurs are in Austin this weekend to play, and the pro draw looks great.

R2 Sports App link: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39964

There’s 36 pros here. We have some intriguing rarely seen players who could make some noise, and we have some interesting absences that will make for some shaken up later match-ups.

Top-20 players missing include #6 Murray (unknown why he’s missing), #8 Kane (injured), #9 Carson (Load management), #14 Keller (distance), and #20 Beltran (injured).


Lets preview the draw. Here’s some notable qualifying matches that i’m looking forward to. Qualifying starts today Thursday, 1/5/23 3pm Central, so get ready for some action.

In the round of 128:

– We have two notable international juniors showing up and playing the IRT domestically for the first time. Mexican U21 champion and multi-junior world title winner Jose Carlos Ramos is here and can make some noise. And former World 18U champion Gerson Miranda is here as well, playing the IRT for the first time outside his own home country (he played the 2019 Bolivian Iris grand slam on his home courts). Both are excellent players and should progress in the draw.


In the round of 64:

– Look for Miranda and Ramos to get upsets against the top two ranked qualifiers Robert Collins and Erick Cuevas respectively.

– Two juniors Guillermo Ortega and @Cole Sendrey face off in a good match-up of Mexico 21U versus USA 16U.

– Mauricio Zelada will have his hands full with Utah’s Anthony Martin

– The match of the round, if it comes to pass, is Bolivian turned Argentine @Diego García , fresh off a Worlds 21U win and with several solid wins last season, versus former top WRT player @Alejandro Cardona . Cardona has no-showed the last two IRT events he’s entered with Visa/travel issues, but hopefully he’s here this weekend b/c he’s a great player and this would be a great match for the neutrals.


Projecting the 32:

– #16 @Erick Trujillo would project to face fellow junior phenom Miranda in my scenario. Phew. This would be the 2019 World 18U champ versus the 2021 World 18U champ.

– #12 Thomas Carter projects to face fellow American @Sam Bredenbeck . A good test for both to see who comes out on top.

– #13 Sebastian Fernandez projects to face #20 Alan Natera here, a player he’s beaten 3 times in top-level competitions but who plays tough.

– #14 Eduardo Garay projects to face the always-dangerous Jaime Martell here, a match I favor Martell to win.

– #11 Sebastian Franco , who lost at this juncture in the 32s five times last season, projects to face his fellow Suburban Maryland friend @MoMo Zelada here. They’ve played a few times on the IRT and Franco will have the upper hand, but Zelada has come up with crazy wins against his good buddies from Maryland on tour in the past.

– #10 Andres Acuña projects to be the unlucky player to face Garcia … and I think Garcia can beat him. I have these two neck and neck in my personal rankings, and this will be a battle.

– #15 @Javier Mar possibly gets the Mexican junior phenom Ramos here, another gotcha match that may be an upset. Mar is the better player … but Ramos may be fired up.

Lots of potential for upsets in the 32s in this event. Should be great on Friday Morning for streaming.


round of 16: Here’s some matches to watch for in the 16s.

– #1 @Daniel De La Rosa vs Trujillo/Miranda winner. I think DLR handles both players, but this is definitely a harder round of 16 than it could be for the #1 player. It will be interesting to see how DLR looks; he’s cut some weight and is in great shape and probably is looking ahead at some highly anticipated matches in this event.

– #4 Eduardo Portillo projects to play Fernandez in the 16s. Portillo should win, but Patata finally gets a round of 16 against someone not named DLR or Montoya for the first time in a while, and will be opportunistic.

– #7 Mario Mercado versus the Acuna/Garcia winner; upset watch here against a vulnerable Mercado; if Garcia wins this could be another surprise quarter for the Argentine.

– #2 Andree Parrilla projects to face Mar, who just beat him in Maryland in September and has a career winning pct against him. Not the round of 16 Andree wanted, and another possible tripping point for the #2 player.


Projected Qtrs:

– 1/8: DLR vs Rodrigo Montoya . Great match. Daniel crushed him at the Sarasota finals last November, but Montoya won at the US Open against a possibly indifferent DLR en route to the final. DLR is 7-3 in 10 top-level meetings in the DB and should be favored … but any given Sunday right?

– 4/5: The first big 4/5 test of the new season should come to pass, with the falling Landa taking on the surging Portillo. They’ve met 7 times; Landa got the first 3, Portillo has won 3 of the last 4. I favor Lalo here.

– 3/6: Conrrado Moscoso over Jake Bredenbeck . I just don’t think Jake has the game to challenge Moscoso right now. The Bolivian has all the power Jake has and more, plus has superior shot-making.

– 2/7: This could be Parrilla/Mercado by chalk … or if the crazy upsets happen that I think will happen, this will be Mar vs Garcia. Since I love upsets, i’ll assume this is the #15 versus the #23 for the semis, and the veteran Mar advances.


– #1 DLR handles Portillo

– #3 Moscoso handles Mar.


Well, this is the final that most neutrals want. DLR will have run through a far more difficult path to get here than Conrrado. These two have played 5 times; DLR is 3-2. They’ve split two IRF meetings, and then DLR has won 2 of their 3 matchups on the IRT. But they have not met since the Denver 2021 final, managing to avoid each other for a season and a half.

Interestingly, thanks to the huge gulf of 2021 points at the US Open between Moscoso and DLR that are set to expire after t his event … it won’t matter who wins if they play; odds are that if Moscoso gets to at least the semis, he’ll overtake DLR for #1 on tour.

I think Moscoso is hungrier and will take this. But it’ll be an amazing match either way.


Doubles review

14 teams in the draw, highlighted by the long-time dominant pairing of Montoya/Mar. With Murray absent, Landa picks up Moscoso as his partner, an interesting team at #2. Landa likes playing the forehand anyway, so this gives Conrrado free reign on the backhand side to play his crazy shots.

Other new teams include Acuna/Lalo, who are both Dovetail guys but who pair up with Rocky’s absence. With Beltran hurt, DLR picks up SoCal paddleball maven Patata as the #4 seed.

I like a chalk final 1vs 2, with the reigning Mexican champs to take it.


Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the IRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live.

Look for Favio Soto , Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew all weekend on the mike, calling the shots!

Thanks to the Tourney Director @Soly Kor for putting this event on!

Reminder to Players! Please like and follow this page so that when I tag you, you see it. Facebook will only retain tags of people that like/follow a page, which means lots of you are not getting the notoriety of getting tagged and noticed on Facebook. If your name is here and it isn’t tagged … it probably means I attempted to tag you but Facebook stripped it.


@International Racquetball Tour

2022 Beach Battle Re-cap

William “the Warrior” Rolon the big winner in Florida this past weekend. Photo 2022 Stratton Woods by Ken fife

2022 Beach Battle Re-cap

The last big event on the 2022 Racquetball calendar happened last weekend, the Age Solutions (thanks to Andy Gomer for your continued support of outdoor and the sport in general) Beach Battle, held at the legendary Garfield Street paddleball courts in Hollywood, Florida.

This relatively new event, the brain child of DC-area outdoor aficionado Maddie Melendez , has quickly become a popular off season east coast outdoor event, which features both Paddleball and Racquetball, and draws players from up and down the East coast.

r2sports: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=39809

Note: everything below is One-Wall and all events are doubles.

Here’s a quick recap of the events of the weekend, highlighting the pro and popular events:

– Men’s Pro Doubles:

Dominant NY-based one-wall players William Rolon and Robert Sostre (colloquially known as “The Warrior” and “the Iceman”) took the title, topping the Florida pair of @Marcos Gravier and Roy Hernandez in a rematch of their group stage final. Semi finalists included long-time Beach Bash top talents @Eric Faro and @Igancio Espinal (winners of their group) and another top All-Florida pair of @Mike Harmon and Jonathan Burns .

– Women’s Pro Doubles:

Another all-NY pairing of @Jasmine Suarez and Delia Silva topped the quite-tough pairing of Aimee Roehler and @Katie Neil in both the group stage and in the pro final. Great win for Suarez/Silva.

– Men’s Open Doubles:

Solid Florida players @Yasmani Perez and long-time Florida tourney director Rob Mijares took the open draw over fellow Florida players @Mike Medina and @Seran Ramkissoon .

– Women’s Open Doubles:

Florida’s Karen Novick and Kelly Quinn won the group rematch over @Lisa Sostre (wife of Robert, therefore clearly to be known here and forward as “The Icewoman”) and Jewelz Santiago to take the Women’s Open title.

– Mixed Pro

The Warrior did the double (actually he did a triple; see below) by taking the Mixed pro with Kathy Guinan , once the namesake of the famous @Zerega complex in NY. In the final, they topped the excellent Virginia-rooted team of @Thomas Gerhard and @Aime Brewer.

– Mixed Open:

@Lisa Sostre teamed with @Darien Jimenez to do the Open double on the weekend, topping your tourney director Melendez playing with Mijares in the final.

– Men’s 75+

The biggest draw on the weekend was the 75+, becoming an ever more popular event with our aging player base.

Eric Faro (the original Beach Bash finalist in 2004) teamed with Nacho to take the 75+ draw. They topped under-rated VA-based player @Suresh Vemulapalli and the legend @Marty Hogan in the semis en route to the final.

In the final, Faro/Espinal topped the surprise finalists of @Novel Lopez and Jorge Algarin , who are (according to commenters post-publishing) from the Levitown One Wall league in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Bravo to them for making the final of a solid draw.

Congrats to all who played. Thanks to Maddie for running the event, thanks for all the Florida outdoor promoters who helped out, who did streaming, and who made this tourney happen.

What’s next?


This was the last known event of 2022. Happy Holidays to you and yours. We’ll capture the IRT year end standings and write a fun recap of the 2022 season as our next big post. Last we did that in three parts for lots of content and analysis.

LPRT Xmas Classic Recap

Mejia two in a row. Photo Kevin Savory US Open 2019

Congrats to your winners on the weekend:

– Singles: Montse Mejia

– Doubles; @Samantha Salas Solis and @Alexandra Herrera

Mejia wins her third career title, and 2nd in a row, with a dominant final’s win over Longoria. She now has 3 career titles, the same number of titles as current LPRT players Salas, Herrera, and Vargas. (see http://rb.gy/vdajxp ).

In Mejia’s last four pro events entered, she’s lost 14,10 in the final of the Team Root Super Max event to Longoria, lost 11-10 in the Aguascalientes final (unable to convert on match point) to Longoria, then won the Chicago event (beating #1 and #2 en route), then this weekend also beats #1 and #2 to win in Maryland. That’s a nice run.

Earlier this year, after Herrera won two straight tourneys, we were wondering if she was the heir apparent. Now we’re wondering if we were premature, in that we have a player in Mejia who routinely beats Herrera and is now topping the world #1 8,7 in finals.

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=37908


Lets review the notable matches in the Singles draw.

Singles Match report in the PRS database: http://rb.gy/by5ykr


In the 32s:

-Susy Acosta stretched MRR to 11-9 before losing.

– Ana Gabriela Martinez , after missing most of the fall slate and seeing her ranking drop nearly out of the top 16, tops Nancy Enriquez to move forward.


In the 16s:

– #1 Longoria handled Gaby 8,8 to move on in a stern round of 16 test.

– Kelani Lawrence got a very solid win over #8 @Brenda Laime, playing on essentially her home courts.

Natalia Mendez reversed last event’s upset loss to Lotts, topping her in two.

– The big talking point and big upset of the round was #13 Valeria Centellas mounting a fantastic comeback from 5-10 down in the breaker to upset #4 @Erika Manilla . Lots of online chatter about bad calls at the expense of Manilla, but this observer didn’t really see anything to be that upset about. There were two calls in particular (a cross court side-out winner that Manilla thought skipped but Centellas immediately walked to the box for and which sounded just fine), then a “cut backhand” slice shot Manilla hit for what she presumed was a winner but which sounded funny on the front wall and was called a skip. Tough loss either way.

– @Hollie Scott got a very solid win, beating #6 @Jessica Parrilla 11-10 to move on.

– In a continuing rivalry that keeps popping up this season, @Carla Munoz took the latest episode over Samantha Salas in a tight one.


In the Quarters, chalk

– #1 Longoria over #9 Lawrence, but not after dropping the first game.

– #4 Mendez had her best tourney for a while, getting to the semis with a solid 10,9 win over fellow Argentine Centellas.

– #3 Mejia went breaker against upset-minded Scott but moved on.

– #2 Herrera was pushed 11-9 by Munoz before advancing.


In the Semis

– #1 Longoria in two straight over #4 Mendez.

– #2 Mejia in a breaker, once again, to top #2 Herrera.

Then in the final … a dominant 8,7 win for Mejia as discussed.


Points Implications of results

Not too much: I don’t see any changes in the top 7, but I do see some severe tightening at the top of the race. Longoria had an 1100 point lead after winning her namesake grand slam in August; that lead is now lower than 500 points. She has two finals and two wins to defend from the last half of last season, but without a KC Supermax commitment and (at this point) things could get a little dicey if Longoria wants to maintain her #1 streak.

Elsewhere further down in the rankings:

– Laime missed this event last year so she moves up to #8 despite the early loss.

– Same with Salas; she didn’t play last year and only gains points: she moves up to #10.

– Vargas takes a dive, from #8 to #15, which means everyone above her moves up one slot.

– Gaby remains mired outside the top 16 and will need a huge run to move up at this point.


Doubles review

Match report in the PRS database: http://rb.gy/ieneht

Salas and Herrera won a weird looking match, taking the first game 15-0 before Mejia/Longoria made a match of it. Still no official word why these two long-time pairs split up, but i’m sure we’ll get the 411 at some point.


Women’s Open, other draws

– Centellas got a walkover win in the Women’s open final over Amaya, who got a great win in the semis over Enriquez.

– the Men’s Open was won by Dylan Pruitt , who took out Virginia’s Justin Carpenter in the final.

– Carpet baggers @Damian Zamorano and Craig Clement took the Men’s Open draw.

– Carpenter and Kelani (both Chesapeake VA natives) took the small Mixed Pro Doubles draw over teams that included Parrilla, Centellas, and tour commissioner @Tj Baumbaugh .


Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Timothy Baghurst, Jerry J Josey Jr., and @Tj Baumbaugh]

Thanks to the Tourney Directors Karen Grisz for putting this event on!

Reminder to Players! Please like and follow this page so that when I tag you, you see it. Facebook will only retain tags of people that like/follow a page, which means lots of you are not getting the notoriety of getting tagged and noticed on Facebook. If your name is here and it isn’t tagged … it probably means I attempted to tag you but Facebook stripped it.


Next up?

Per our handy master racquetball calendar …


The last remaining event on the 2022 calendar of note is the 2nd annual Beach Battle in Hollywood, FL next weekend. Then its happy new year and the first big event on the 2023 slate will be the IRT Longhorn Open.



LPRT 30th Annual Xmas Classic Preview

Can Mejia get another title? Photo Kevin Savory US Open 2019

LPRT is back in action, and back in my hometown, for the last pro event of this calendar year 2022.

Quick History lesson on this event, for those who are interested:

This is the 30th iteration of this event, which puts its first occurrence way back in 1991 (it missed a year for Covid like everything else). It was originally the brain child of long-time DC-area racquetball promoter Ed Willis II, who ran tournaments for more than a decade in the area and was briefly the LPRT tour commissioner.

When I moved to Arlington VA in late 1997, i hooked up with Team Ed to help them with tournament prep; I dug into my old files for when I was working with Team Ed and I have a file dated Dec 1999 with start times for the 8th annual event. Top seeds in the Men’s Open draw of the 1999 event? Dan Fowler , Daniel F Llacera , Mike Porter, David Day, Dave White, Stan Davis, Ben Hale, Jamal Harris . If I had to guess i’d say Fowler took Llacera in the final, with Porter and Day making the semis. The Women’s open was a bit smaller but featured Doreen Fowler and … current LPRT commissioner @TJ Baumbaugh as the top seeds.

The event used to be run at the historic Crystal City Sport & Health, which hosted pro stops for decades dating to the 1980s, before moving to the Tysons Club, then moving around the area as the Sport & Health chain in the area systematically eliminated courts throughout the chain. Today i’m not sure there’s a single racquetball court inside the beltway, where as for decades the DC area had a massive community of players, both club and tournament. A shame.

The tourney (and Team Ed’s portfolio) was eventually was taken over by Karen Grisz , who took over when Ed stepped out of racquetball promotion, and the tournament moved to Sportfit Laurel for a time before settling where it is today: at one of the last clubs in the DC/Baltimore area with enough courts to hold anything more than a shootout; Severna Park.

R2 Sports App link:https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=37908

This weekend’s event features 22 Ladies pros and has a pretty good talent level despite the smaller draw. 9 of the top 10 are here (only missing the new mom Vargas), and then 8 of the next top 10 ranked players are here (missing only Barrios, who is at World Juniors, and the recently retired Rajsich). So, a solid 17 of the top 20 present.


Lets preview the draw. Here’s some notable qualifying matches that i’m looking forward to:

In the 32s,

– watch for Ana Gabriela Martinez , who returns to the tour for the first time in months and gets a #17 seed for her troubles. She faces off against #16 Nancy Enriquez and is favored to move on.

– I like Lotts vs Lexi York as a play-in to the main draw; Lotts has been playing well lately and should move on.

– #14 Maria Renee Rodriguez will have a good test against long-time tour player @Susy Acosta

– For the 2nd event in a row, the two traveling Colombians, and doubles partners @Maria Paz Riquelme and @Cristina Amaya have to face off. Maybe we tweak the seeding next time? These two also may very well face off in the 2nd round of Women’s Open.


round of 16:

– #1 Paola Longoria gets the absolute worst case round of 16 match she could ask for, projecting to face Gaby. At the end of the day, Longoria holds a dominant career h2h against the Guatemalan, but Gaby has toppled Paola in the past.

– #8 Kelani Lawrence vs #9 Brenda Laime Jalil . Great match; hope we get this streamed. Two very close players, MD vs VA. I favor Laime to move on and set up another qtr against Paola.

– #5 Natalia Mendez vs #12 Lotts: ironically a rematch of Lott’s huge upset win over Mendez in Chicago. Can she do it again?

– #6 Jessica Parrilla vs #11 @Hollie Scott : this is a very even matchup, and the kind of match Scott needs to win if she wants to break into the top 10.

– #7 @Carla Munoz vs #10 Samantha Salas Solis: these two keep running into each other; they met in August and again at the US Open. They’ve split those two meetings … who comes out on top this time? Salas seems to have found a second win lately and could pull the upset.


Projected Qtrs:

– #1 Longoria v #9 Laime, again. this would be the 4th meeting of the season. Laime shocked the #1 in Chesapeake; can she do it again on essentially home soil?

– #4 Erika Manilla vs #5 Mendez; assuming no upsets, Manilla gets a challenging match to get back to the semis.

– #3 Montse Mejía vs the Parrilla/Scott winner: Mejia would be favored either way.

– #2 Alexandra Herrera vs the Salas/Munoz winner: Herrera favored either way.


– Longoria over Manilla: Paola is 7-0 lifetime over Erika, but the American #1 improving. Erika has gone from losing 0,1 to Longoria in Nov 2021 to taking a game off of her at the US Open in October. She projects to get another shot here.

– Mejia over Herrera; Montse is 6-3 lifetime over Herrera, including the last two meetings.

Finals: Mejia over Longoria. Montse beat her in Chicago, has a couple other wins over Paola, and won’t be intimidated. After Longoria labors through what arguably could be called the most difficult possible draw she could have … she runs out of gas in the final.


Doubles review

Once again, we see the long-time partnership of Longoria/Salas split up … as we do with the long-time partnership of Herrera/Mejia. These players have paired up with each other, and we should see all four in the final.

Longoria/Mejia is a more formidable doubles pairing than even Longoria/Salas and is my favorite to win.


Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the LPRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live.

Look for Timothy Baghurst, Jerry J Josey Jr., and Tj Baumbaugh on the mike, calling the shots!

Thanks to the Tourney Directors Mike Grisz , Karen Grisz, and Bill Milbach for putting this event on! Since its Severna Park, I know Slemo Warigon will be involved too.

Coincidentally, if you’re interested in playing Fantasy Racquetball for this event, the links to the brackets are advertised on LPRT’s main page. The winner each week gets free swag!

IRT John Pelham Memorial ToC Wrap-up

Bredenbeck wins! Photo Kevin Savory 2020 USAR national doubles

Congrats to your Pro Singles winner on the weekend: Jake Bredenbeck !

Jake becomes the 44th man to ever win a Tier 1 professional racquetball event, dating to the fall of 1974. See http://rb.gy/aibnid for a list of all Tier 1 winners in the history of the IRT and its predecessors. Jake joins a club of “One time winners” on tour which includes 10 players, several of which are active currently (Murray, Portillo, Mercado, Franco, Pratt).

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=37812


Lets review the notable matches in the Singles draw.

PRS Match Report: http://rb.gy/wfieqj

No real surprises in the 32s. The main notable match was Alan Natera ‘s 0,0 win, the first time we’ve had a double donut on tour since Jan 2019 (see this link for the tour’s worst defeats to see all the double/triple donuts we’ve had: https://rball.pro/99u )

In the 16s, just one upset by seed but several notable matches:

– #9 Thomas Carter got a very solid win over the recently surging #8 Adam Manilla 11-9 in the breaker. Carter was solid, making serves, and making shots, while Adam was leaving things up and not putting away his opportunities. Carter makes his 3rd career pro quarter: see http://rb.gy/hio52i for his career Summary.

– #6 Mario Mercado was stretched to a breaker by veteran lefty @Robert Collin before advancing.

– #7 @Rodrigo Montoya was pushed to a breaker by Alan Natera before advancing.

– #2 Eduardo Portillo advanced over Canadian Michael LeDuc by the 0,0 score line, the second double donut of the tournament.


In the Quarters, three of the top four seeds advance.

– #1 Andree Parrilla got pushed 15-14 in game one by #9 Carter, but then blew him out in game two 15-2 to advance.

– #5 Bredenbeck improved to 3-2 lifetime against Big Canada Samuel Murray to move on. Jake topped Sam 9,4 in a comprehensive victory.

– #3 Alejandro Landa held off Mercado but was taken to a breaker to do so.

– #2 Portillo blasted #7 Montoya 1,4 to move on. Montoya, who I tipped to win this event, did not drive serve early and does not seem to this observer like he was healthy.


In the Semis

– Jake won a fantastic match that featured multiple come-from-behind actions to top his long-time rival Parrilla to move into the final.

– Portillo ground out a win over the veteran Landa, winning game one 13 and then having landa retire at 11-11 in the second.

In the Finals

– Jake had another match that featured a ton of comebacks to win his first title.


Points Implications of results

This tournament expired the 2021 Chicago event, and the top 4 players on tour were essentially locked into their spots irrespective of the results here (probably why the attendance was sparse).

However, the players ranked 5-10 collectively are separated by just 200 points, so every tournament jumbles the seeding. Based on these results, and the expiration of 2021 Chicago, Murray should drop from 5 to 7, Landa and Kane will move up a slot, and Rocky drops down to #10. Montoya just misses out on a top 10 spot for the season.

At some point I presume the tour will pivot back to a 365-day rolling calendar, now that we’re beyond covid and are back to a decent schedule. Right now, the 2022 title is determined in part by tournaments that happened in 2021 (not the least of which is the 2021 US Open, which gives a huge chunk of points to DLR in particular), and it probably isn’t “fair” to continue to do this.


Men’s Open, other draws

There was no Pro doubles here, nor a U21 division (since all those players are at World Juniors). The Men’s Open draw was small, and was won by Natera over Montana Amateur Ty Hedalen . Hedalen teamed with Matthew Ivar Majxner to take the Open Doubles title, representing Montana well. California duo Will Reynolds and Estefania Perez-Picon took the large Mixed Open doubles draw. Shout out to fellow USAR board member @Cindy Tillbury, who won the Women’s Open doubles draw with partner Rachel Chamness. Lastly sometime LPRT touring pro @Lexi York took the 20-person Men’s Elite singles draw.


Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew


Next up?

Per our handy master racquetball calendar …


World Juniors is underway now; knockout brackets will be determined later this week after the RRs complete.

After that, the LPRT is heading to the DC Area to play the 30th iteration of the Xmas Classic, a tournament I used to help run 20 years ago. Then the last major event on the 2022 schedule is an outdoor event in Hollywood Florida that’s become one of the most popular outdoor tournaments all year.



IRT Portland John Pelham Memorial Preview

Is this Montoya’s tournament to break through? Photo 2022 3WB via Steve Fitzsimons

Welcome to the final event of the 2022 International Racquetball Tour season, the long-running John Pelham memorial, held in one of the hotbeds of racquetball in the USA, Portland Oregon.

R2 Sports App link: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=37812

The timing of the event, along with the nature of the tour right now, has conspired to make this the smallest Men’s draw we’ve had in quite some time. There are 23 pros in Portland, with a number of top players missing.

The draw is missing #1, 3 and #7 on tour right now. #1 DLR has sewn up the 2022 title and had an increasingly busy Pickleball travel schedule and has skipped the event. Moscoso generally likes to cluster events to play when he makes the long flight from Bolivia, and Carson at #7 has been slowly stepping back as his sponsorship deal changes with the newer reality of the sport. A good chunk of the guys ranked 11-20 are out as well, due to vacations (Acuna is at the World cup), injuries (Kane and Alvaro of course are out for some time), or travel issues going from east to west.

That being said … when the draws are missing big names, we usually get surprises. And I think we’re going to get a 1st time winner this weekend. Read on…


Lets preview the draw. Here’s some notable qualifying matches that i’m looking forward to:

I see no real surprises in the 32s: Pratt-Martin should be good, as should Cuevas-Spencer.


round of 16:

– #1 Andree Parrilla probably faces Charlie Pratt , who got his one career title on this court in 2017. Pratt has been on daddy duty lately; it remains to be seen how rusty he is.

– #8/#9 features lefty v lefty in Adam Manilla and Thomas Carter

– #7 Rodrigo Montoya likely faces off against Alan Natera in the 7/10 spot, a tough opener as compared to other top 8 seeds.


Projected Qtrs:

– #1 Parrilla over #8 Manilla; This is a great spot for Adam to try to get a breakthrough win, but Andree is still too tough.

– #5 @Jake Bredenbeck over #4 Samuel Murray ; Murray opted out of the recent Canadian qualifier final with injury and may not be 100%. Jake and Sam have split their 4 career meetings, so it’s anyone’s game.

– #6 Mario Mercado over #3 @Alejandro Landa Mercado made the final here in 2017 (losing to Pratt), and has been playing well. I like him to catch the slow-starting Landa off-guard and get the upset.

– #7 Rodrigo Montoya over #2 Eduardo Portillo . Montoya made the finals of US Open and Dovetail, losing to Conrrado and DLR respectively. Neither are here. I think he’s the favorite to win.


– Parrilla over Jake; Andree is 5-1 against Jake since 2017 and seems to know how to beat him as needed.

– Montoya over Mercado, though this is a tough one; Mercado is 3-1 over Rodrigo lifetime, including a win the week after US Open in California … if Mercado gets here, watch out.


Montoya beats Parrilla again to win his first IRT title.

Lets see if my prognosticating skills are any good for the last event of the season.


Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the IRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live.

Look for Favio Soto ,Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew all weekend on the mike, calling the shots!

Thanks to the Tourney Directors Azuma Dave , @Wendell Pelham, and others for putting this event on!