The Madera American 10-12-year-old All-Star team only needed four innings to seal a 12-0 win against Chowchilla in the District 10 Little League All-Star tournament.
Madera American put Sunday’s game to bed in the fourth inning when they exploded with six runs. David Moles drove in two runs in the inning, while Nate Gray drove in one run with a hit to center field. Harnoor Hans then drove in two runs, while Sebastian Guerrero drove in Alex Lopez to make it 12-0.
With Chowchilla unable to answer, the game was called off after four innings due to the 10-run rule.
“Pitching wise, I used four different pitchers, a different pitcher every inning and all of them did good,” Madera American head coach Guni Grewal said. “As far as hitting, Amani Sua did good. He scored three runs and the bottom of the lineup came up and they got a lot of hits.”
Sua opened the scoring with a home run in the second inning to give Madera American a 1-0 lead. Harnoor Hans then followed up with an RBI to make it 2-0.
Nate Gray’s hit down the left field line in the third inning drove in Sua, making it 3-0. Alex Lopez’s base hit then drove in Gray and gave Madera American a 4-0 lead. Madera American tacked on another run before the inning ended.
Grewal said his team was determined to not slow down after the fast start.
“You have to keep putting that pressure on the other team, because if you give up, you lose momentum,” Grewal said. “Then it’s hard to get that momentum back.”
After the offense exploded for six runs in the top of the fourth inning, Madera American’s defense finished the job. Madera American pitcher Brenden Gustafson struckout two, while his teammates sealed the win with a groundout.
Madera American 2, Reedley 1
One day earlier Madera American struggled to score and lost, 2-1, against Reedley.
“It was just a matter of facing a different team. We pretty much went with the same strategy, same line up and everything,” Grewal said. “It’s baseball. Different days you get different outcomes, but the kids did good. They hit the ball well. Yesterday, I thought they hit the ball well too, but all the shots were at people. Today, they kind of fell in the gaps.”
Madera American came up on the short end of a defensive battle in its Little League match against Reedley on Saturday.
With Madera American down 2-1 in the final inning, Brenden Gustafson hit a double to set up the tying run. Madera American, however, was unable to bring him home and Reedley walked away with a win.
“That last inning I thought we were gonna come up with a couple of runs,” Grewal said. “Three hard-hit balls, but they were right at people.”
Madera American’s Amani Sua opened the scoring in the second inning with a deep shot over the center fielder to give his team a 1-0 lead.
With Sua on the mound in the bottom half of the second inning, Reedley’s Cole Betancourt hit a home run to drive in two runs for a 2-1 lead. Sua, however, answered with three strikeouts to close out the inning.
“Sua did a real good job. Reedley had a good pitcher too, kept us off balance,” Grewal said. “It was like carbon copy. Whatever we did, they did the same thing. They would get runners on, couldn’t score. We would get runners on, couldn’t score.”
Reedley’s defense once again did the job in the fifth inning, taking down Madera American without any runs allowed.
“We couldn’t get the hits timely hits,” Grewal said. “When we had runners on we couldn’t get the hits. We got underneath the ball and we popped up the ball
The game, however, ended with Brenden Gustafson stranded on second base.
“Right there at the end we hit the ball hard, but it went right at their players,” Grewal said.
Despite the loss, Grewal was happy with his team’s effort against a strong opponent.
“Reedley is a good team. Reedley is always a disciplined team. That is going to be one of the better teams in the tournament,” Grewal said. “What [Madera American] can learn from is that they can play with them. They can play with the best out here. It showed. It was a 2-1 game. If one of those balls that they caught would have gotten through the field, it would have been a different game.”