Courtesy of Mike Gentry/District 10 Administrator
Madera American Little League champions, Lee’s Concrete, celebrates winning the District 10 Tournament of Champions tournament Saturday at River Park Little League. Lee’s defeated Madera National Little League champion G&J Trucking Sales in a rematch of the Madera Little League City Championship the week before, won by G&J Trucking Sales.
Madera American Little League champion coach Guni Grewal has nine league championships and numerous Madera Little League City Championships, but the one thing missing was the District 10 Tournament of Champions title.
Now, he’s got that, as well.
MALL champion Lee’s Concrete used a three run fifth inning for a 5-2 victory Saturday over Madera National Little league and Madera City Champions G&J Trucking Sales at River Park Little League.
“It’s awesome to win this,” Grewal said. “After all these years, 20-something years, we finally got the TOC. I thought last year was going to be the year we get it, but we get 10-run ruled in the first game. That’s baseball. This year, it didn’t even cross my mind to be here at this stage.”
This time, Grewal left his ace on the mound and he responded. Harnoor Hans scattered eight hits, struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.
“He pitched an excellent game,” Grewal said. “He kept the dugout fired up, too. He would tell the guys to believe and kept them motivated. (Assistant coach) Zak Wyatt called a good game.”
Joel Arellano suffered the loss on the mound. After last week City Championship win, Arellano allowed four runs in five innings. He struck out five with two walks.
G&J Trucking Sales committed three errors and one was pivotal in the fifth inning.
“That was tough,” G&J Trucking Sales managers Seth McKeever said. “Good pitching can win you games. Good hitting can win you games. But, you still have to play everything all around. Defense killed us today. I tell the boys that there’s only one team that can beat you and that’s ourselves. We finished this year 23-4 and all four losses were tough ones where we could have done better on defense.”
Unlike the City Championship, instead of G&J Trucking Sales coming back on Lee’s Concrete, it was Lee’s that came from behind for the victory.
G&J Trucking Sales got off to the quick start with two runs in the first inning.
With one out, Ethan Tate singled to right. Brenton Bohm sent a ball down the right field line. Tate scored and Bohm went into third with a stand-up triple.
Arellano followed with a single to right to drive in Bohm for the 2-0 lead.
Arellano seemed to have everything under control on the mound. He retired nine of the first 10 batters.
G&J Trucking Sales got a two-out double from Trey Garcia in the second, but couldn’t score. G&J couldn’t get more than one hit in an inning after the first.
Lee’s took control of momentum with two runs in the fourth to tie the score. Jose Velasco led off the inning with a single and went to second on an error. After a popout, Harnoor Hans tripled to right-centerfield to drive in Velasco.
With Joban Hans at the plate, Arellano threw a wild pitch and Harnoor Hans scored the game-tying run. Joban ended up singling up the middle and was sacrificed to second. The nest batter struck out to end the threat, but the scored was tied.
Blake Burton led off the fourth with a single, but he was called out for runner’s interference two batters later.
Alonso Lopez led off the fifth with a double to left-center for Lee’s. He was sacrificed to third. However, two batters later, he was thrown out trying to score on a wild pitch.
Garcia led off the bottom of the fifth with a single for G&J. However, the next batter popped out a bunt and Garcia was doubled up at first to end the threat and kill any momentum.
Lee’s took the momentum into the sixth inning. Velasco led off the inning by drawing a walk. Cortez hit a grounder back to Arellano on the mound. However, Arellano threw wild to second and both runners were safe. Harnoor Hans drew a walk to load the bases.
Arellano had to come out of the game because he reached the 85-pitch limit. Tate came in to face Joban Hans.
Hans hit a full count pitch over the G&J leftfielder for a double. Velasco and Cortez scored for a 4-2 lead.
With Larry Carlson at the plate, Hornoor Hans tried to score, but he was tagged out. Carlson drew a walk to put runners at first and third. After a pitch to Chris Capelluti, Tate tried to get Joban Hans off of third, but threw wild. Hans came in to score the third run of the inning for a 5-2 lead.
Tate settled down with two strikeouts to end the inning.
However, in the bottom of the sixth, Harnoor Hans struck out the first batter. Burton singled up the middle to try to start a rally.
Hans got the next batter to groundout to first and then struck out the next batter to end the game and secure the District 10 Tournament of Champions for Lee’s Concrete.