Benny Munoz/The Madera Tribune
Round Table celebrates on the Mel Parker Field pitcher’s mound after winning the Madera Babe Ruth Championship with an eight-inning 2-1 victory over Breakfast Lions on Friday.
Round Table’s Timmy Niino knew his eight-inning hit had a chance. The ball went over the centerfielder’s head and when Tyler Zamora crossed the plate, the celebration began for the Madera Babe Ruth Championship.
Niino’s game-winning single against Breakfast Lions gave manager Frank Borges his fourth Madera Babe Ruth championship in his seventh straight title game appearance.
Breakfast Lions scored a run in the top of the sixth, but Round Table immediately tied it with a run in the bottom of the inning.
Both teams had their chances for the win before Round Table won it in the eighth.
Evan Candelaria picked up the win in relief, tossing the final 4 2/3 innings. He allowed just two hits with eight strikeouts and an earned run. He replaced Niino, who allowed four hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Niino also had three hits while the rest of the Round Table offense was limited to just three.
Breakfast Lions had extra base hits from Charlie Monterrosa and Matt Jones, but only scored one run.
Isiaah Monge tossed the first five innings and allowed a run on three hits for Breakfast Lions. He struck out five, but also walked five.
Breakfast Lions pressured the Round Table pitchers by putting a runner on base in each of the first four innings.
Eric Wilson and Ramon Ruiz hit back-to-back two out singles in the second, but a groundout ended the threat.
Matt Jones hit a two-out triple in the third, but a groundout ended the inning.
Niino allowed a one out double from Monterrosa and hit Shohn Varela to put runners at first and second. Candelaria came in relief and got a groundout while the runners advanced 90 feet. Candelaria got out of the inning with a strikeout.
Meanwhile, Round Table threatened just the same. They put a runner on base in every inning and left 10 runners on.
Round Table’s Tyler Zamora led off the bottom of the first by reaching second on an dropped fly ball. He advanced to third on a passed ball. Monge ended the threat by striking out the next three batters.
Round Table got back-to-back singles from Niino and Devon Reyes to lead off the second, but two strikeouts and a sacrifice bunt ended the inning without a run.
Aiden Sua led off the third with a walk. He went to second on a wild pitch and stole third. However, he was thrown out at the plate trying to score on another wild pitch.
In the fourth, Noe Garza walked to lead off the inning and Niino singled. However, Garza was thrown out trying to steal third and a groundout and popout ended the threat.
Again, Round Table threatened in the fifth. With one out, Eric Gallegos walked and went to second on a wild pitch. He went to third when Sua reached on an error. Zamora flew out to shallow right and Ruiz threw out Gallegos trying to score to end the inning.
Finally, Breakfast Lions got on the scoreboard. With one out in the sixth, Monge drew a walk. Ivin Ponce singled to put runners at first and second. Monterrosa singled up the middle and Monge scored the game’s first run.
However, Monterrosa was caught trying to steal second and the next batter struck out to end the inning.
Jackson Smith led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk for Round Table. He stole second and went to third on a wild throw. He then scored when the throw from the outfield went wide of third to tie the game at one.
Garza followed a strikeout with a single and stolen base, but a popout and a groundout ended the inning.
Candelaria closed the game for Round Table by retiring the final seven batters in a row, including five by striskeout.
Zamora led off the eighth with a four-pitch walk. Smith sacrificed him to second. Candelaria singled up the middle to put runners at the corners.
After the next batter struck out, Candelaria stole second.
On the second pitch of his at-bat, Niino lifted a fly ball to deep center. The Breakfast Lions centerfielder broke in on the ball and then retreated. It was too late as the ball fell behind him for a base hit and Zamora scored the winning run.