Courtesy of Pam Grewal
The Madera American Little League 12-year-old All-Star team clebrates winning the Northern California Section 7 championship Sunday in Arvin.
Next up is state championships on Saturday in Redding
The best thing that could have happened to the Madera American Little League 12-year-old All-Star team after a loss to open the Section 7 championships was getting a day off.
Madera American used that day off to regroup and then won three games in three days to capture the Northern California Section 7 championship Sunday at Kovacevich Park in Arvin. They defeated Porterville 7-6 in an exciting championship game and avenged a walk-off loss to Porterville on the first day of the tournament.
“They got lucky in that first game,” manager Guni Grewal said. “We had to come back and double dip and we got them pretty good.”
Next for Madera American is the NorCal State Championships in East Redding beginning Saturday. However, it won’t be easy. The league is looking at options to help fundraise and ease the cost for the tournament, which could be as long as seven days.
“We would like to thank people that donated to help us out a lot,” Grewal said. “We really appreciated it and the boys really reaped the benefits from it.”
MALL president Chris Molina and Grewal are currently looking to the community to raise more than $3,000 for the team to go to Redding.
Madera American 7, Porterville 6
Madera American took an early 5-0 lead against Porterville in the third meeting between the two teams in the tournament.
However, Porterville scored six runs in the final three innings to put the pressure on Madera American. Madera American pushed over runs in the fifth and sixth innings to secure a 7-6 victory.
“Frankie Espejo pitched his heart out,” Grewal said. “Abel Martinez came in and got the last few outs for the save. Josh Alvarez was rock solid back there catching.”
Dominic Rosel had the big hit with a solo home run in the second and he scored two runs. Madera American scored runs in every inning except the third inning.
In the top of the first, Alvarez reached on a fielder’s choice. He went to second on a walk from Martinez. Eric Wilson singled him home and Espejo drove in Wilson for a 2-0 lead.
Rosel hit his home run to lead off the second inning to give Madera American a 3-0 lead.
In the fourth, Rosel led off with a walk and Eric Gallegos followed with a single. After a groundout, Alvarez singled home Rosel and Gallegos also scored for a 5-0 lead.
Porterville came back with two runs in he bottom of the fourth with three hits.
Meanwhile Madera American scored a run in the fifth on a single by Espejo, a stolen base and a single from Gallegos.
Porterville kept the pressure on Madera American with two more runs in the fifth inning on a walk, double and single.
Madera American kept staying in front of Porterville with another run in the sixth. Martinez singled and scored on a single from Espejo.
Porterville put a run on the board in the bottom of the sixth before Grewal went to Martinez on the mound. He allowed a double and a batter to reach on an error.
With the tying run at third and the winning run at second, Martinez got a popout to first and a ground out to short to end the game and give Madera American the Section 7 championship.
Madera American 4, Porterville 0
The Madera American pitching staff held Porterville to just three hits Saturday in the first Section 7 championship game.
Because of Madera American’s first-day loss to Porterville, they had to beat them twice for the title.
Madera American allowed two baserunners in only two innings and no Porterville runner reached third base in a dominating victory.
Madera American scored all four of its runs in the first two innings and never looked back.
They struggled after the second, though. Madera American had just four baserunners over the final four innings and struck out eight times.
Elijah Tang got the game started with a walk. After a strikeout, Espejo and Erik Wilson each singled. Rosel added a double to drive in another run for a 3-0 lead.
With one out in the second, Jojo Mosqueda singled and scored on Tang’s double for a 4-0 lead.
The Madera American pitching did the rest for the victory to send Madera American into the winner-take-all finale.
Madera American 13, Arvin 2
After losing its first game Thursday, Madera American came out with a vengeance Saturday with a drubbing of host league Arvin.
Madera American took the early lead with a double from Alvarez and an RBI double from Wilson for a 1-0 lead in the first.
Madera American then added four runs in the third. Tang was hit by a pitch and Alvarez singled. After a sacrifice, Wilson singled home two runs and Rosel doubled home pinch-runner Mosqueda. Rosel came home on a single from Castro for a 5-0 lead.
After Arvin scored two runs in the bottom of the third, Madera American blew open the game in the fourth inning. They sent 12 batters to the plate while scoring eight runs.
Dallas Rodriguez, Tang, Alvarez, Espejo, Wilson, Rosel, Julian Hernandez and Elijah Martinez scored runs in the fourth to get Madera American in mercy-rule range.
Abel Martinez allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the fourth, but retired the side on two strikeouts and a popout to send Madera American into the championship game.
Porterville 4, Madera American 3
Porterville opened the Section 7 championship tournament with a walk-off victory to send Madera American to the loser’s bracket.
Tang and Alvarez, who each reached on errors, scored in the top of the first inning.
Porterville came back with a single and a two-run home run in the bottom of the second to tie the score at two. They pushed over a run in the third on a double and a single for a 3-2 lead.
Madera had just one base runner over the next three innings before Hernandez was hit by a pitch in the fifth. Elijah Martinez drew a walk and Tang doubled home Martinez for the game-tying run.
Porterville got the win after a lead off walk. A stolen base, two strikeouts and a single to left scored the game-winning run for Porterville.