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Rangers fans hope against odds to bitter end

By Gheni_Platenburg
Oct. 29, 2011 at 5:29 a.m.

Cami Griffin, left, and Chelsea Hartman watch the Rangers play in the final game of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Friday night at Sports bar in Victoria. "Last night's game kinda drained us," Hartman said of her enthusiasm for the losing team.

The sounds of AC/DC's hit song "Highway to Hell" blared through the speakers of the Sports bar jukebox after someone slipped a few coins into the machine hoping to break the silence that filled the bar.

The silence filled the tavern after the conclusion of Game 7 of the World Series between Texas and St. Louis on Friday night.

For fans of the Texas Rangers, the song was befitting of their mood.

In their eyes, the game had gone to Hell in a hand basket, with the Rangers losing to the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-2.

"I'm disgusted that Texas made it all the way here but couldn't blow out the candles," said Alfonzo Villanueva, of Houston. "It was 6-2, but it might as well have been 0-4."

The underdogs, this year's World Series marked the Rangers' second year of participation in the series in the team's 40-year history.

It also marked the second time this year that the team lost two games in a row.

Clearly upset over the loss, the bar atmosphere was gloomy, the culmination of disappointment over the Ranger's performance.

There were no Cardinals fans in sight to gloat over the win.

Although the Rangers were down in the 7th inning, the occasional claps and shouted words of encouragement proved the fans remained hopeful the Texas team could pull off a win.

"They are going to hit a home run. I'm predicting it," said Kay Sala, 71, through chuckles. "If they don't, I'm going to throw something at the screen."

"It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings," she added.

Fans credited lousy pitching, a lack of confidence in the pitchers, too many walks and exhaustion from last night's game as reasons for the Rangers' loss.

"It took a lot out of them," said Orlando Garcia, part owner of the Sports bar. "Last night was the best game in World Series history. It was hard to follow up."

Though the Sports bar had been packed for most of the other games in the series, especially for Thursday night's Game 6, the bar was noticeably thinned out for the final game.

Hoping to clear his mind of the loss, Jose Hernandez, 28, of Houston, said he would be enlisting the help of alcoholic beverages.

"I'll feel better in the morning," he laughed. "I feel bad, but it's not as bad because I'm more of an Astros fan. "(The Rangers) bluffed, and they couldn't get it."

Fans took solace in the fact the Rangers played all seven games, which does not happen often.

Regardless of the loss, game viewers said they would not be kicking their support of the Rangers to the curb just yet.

"Regardless if they win or lose, I'm from Texas. I'm going to stay rooting for Texas teams," said Rudy Guzman, owner and general manager of the Victoria Texans. "I'm Texas till I die."

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