Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
The Madera American Little League 10-11-year-old All-Stars gather after a 9-3 loss in Wednesday’s District 10 championship game to River Park Little League.
FRESNO — The Madera American Little League 10-11-year-old All-Star team took the District 10 Tournament to the final game and lost 9-3 in the championship game.
After losing its second game of the tournament, Madera American won the next four games, including wins on three straight days, to force a deciding game Wednesday after a 15-4 victory Monday over River Park.
However, Madera American made too many mistakes in Wednesday’s loss. They committed five errors, which led to six unearned runs.
“We had too many errors and they killed us,” manager Guni Grewal said. “Our energy level wasn’t there. Their pitcher kept us in check. The kids weren’t ready to play. The same thing happened to these kids happened to River Park the other day. We came in overconfident and those kids wanted it so it was their days.”
Meanwhile, the offense, which scored more than 10 runs in four of its seven games, could only muster three runs on nine hits. They left seven runners on base, including five in scoring position and had two runners thrown out at the plate.
“We didn’t get the timely hits,” Grewal said. “It was not meant for us. These kids had a great tournament. We lost one game and we 10-runned four teams. We came to this game and ran out of gas.”
Madera American’s offense was led by Abel Martinez, who had an epic run through the tournament. He batted 15-for-21 (.714 batting average) with at least a hit and a run in all seven games. He scored 12 runs, hit three doubles and two triples.
On Wednesday, Martinez was 3-for-4 with a run scored and a double.
The game began almost identical to Monday’s game, except with opposite results. On Monday, River Park loaded the bases in the top of the first and didn’t score a run.
Madera American did the same thing on Wednesday. Martinez led off the game with a single. After a popout, Josh Alvarez singled, but the next batter forced Martinez at second for the second out. Frankie Espejo singled to right to load the bases, but a groundout ended the inning.
On Monday, Madera American sent 12 batters to the plate and scored eight runs. Although River Park didn’t score eight runs, they scored four, all unearned with four errors, while sending 10 batters to the plate for the early lead.
River Park added two more runs in the second on three straight singles to open the lead to six.
Martinez hustled for a double on a fly ball to left center. He advanced to third on a fly ball, but was tagged out at the plate after trying to score on an error.
River Park added another run in the third on a double, sacrifice and a wild pitch.
Eric Wilson threw a bullet from shortstop to Josh Alvarez at the plate to cut down a River Park runner.
Madera American finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning. Wilson led off the inning with a ground-rule double to right field. Jorge Gutierrez singled up the middle to put runners at first and third.
Elijah Martinez hit a soft grounder to the infield and Wilson tried to score. He was tagged out at the plate for the first rout of the inning. Joseph Bass singled to load the bases. A wild pitch allowed Gutierrez to score Madera American’s first run of the game.
River Park added two unearned runs in the fourth inning to open a 9-1 lead.
Madera American rallied in the fifth. Martinez led off with a single up the middle. After a flyout, Alvarez reached on an error to put runners at first and third. Wilson grounded out to drive in Martinez. Espejo reached on another error to drive in Alvarez, but that was all Madera American could muster.
Madera American went down in order in the top of the sixth for the 9-3 loss.
Madera American 15, River Park 4
The Madera American Little League 10-11-year-old All-Star team forced a winner-take-all championship game Wednesday after a 15-4 victory over River Park on Monday.
Madera American forced the deciding game in the double-elimination tournament with eight runs in the first inning and scored a run in the next three innings to induce the 10-run mercy rule after four innings.
Xavier Cruz hit a two-run home run in the second and Ivan Castaneda ended the game with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth for the 11-run victory.
Madera American banged out 14 hits in the game and eight of the 11 batters got a hit, including seven for extra bases.
Noah Castro picked up the win on the mound.
River Park loaded the bases in the top of the first inning on two walks and a single, but Castro got out of the inning unscathed.
Abel Martinez, who is the hottest player in the tournament and went four-for-four from the lead-off spot with three runs scored, started the bottom of the first with a single.
Castaneda drew a walk and Josh Alvarez doubled in Martinez. Frankie Espejo singled home Castenada. Castro drew a walk to load the bases. Eric Wilson drew another walk to force in a run.
After a strikeout, Jojo Mosqueda drew another walk to force in another run. Martinez, in his second at-bat of the inning, cleared the bases with a double. Castaneda doubled home Martinez for an 8-0 lead.
The offense kept going in the second inning with two outs and nobody on base. Elijah Martinez came off the bench with a single. Wilson doubled home Martinez with a double and Eric Gallegos singled home Wilson. Cruz cleared the bases with a two-run home run for a 12-0 lead.
River Park answered back in the third with a two out, no one on rally. A double, triple and single drove in two runs to cut the lead to 10.
Madera American scored a run in the fourth inning. Alvarez started the inning with a double and cwame home three batters later on a single by Wilson.
After River Park closed the lead to 13-4 in the top of the fourth with two singles and a double, Madera American ended the game in the bottom of the inning.
After a flyout, Martinez singled. Castaneda hit a game-ending two-run home run for a 15-4 victory.