For The Madera Tribune
The Madera Babe Ruth 15-year-old All-Star team celebrates winning the Central California State Championship on Tuesday after a 5-4, eight inning victory over Delano. After losing the first game of the tournament, Madera won six games in four days to win the title.
The Madera Babe Ruth 15-year-old All-Star team opened the Central California State Tournament with a loss to host team Santa Maria.
From there, Madera won six straight game in four days, including two to defeat previously undefeated Delano Tuesday to capture the state championship in Santa Maria’s Elks Field.
Madera recorded a 4-2 win over Delano to force a championship game. Madera scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning for the 5-4 victory.
Previously, Madera needed a walk-off 7-6 revenge victory over Santa Maria to advance to the finals.
Madera started the run with a 3-2 victory over Northwest Bakersfield in the loser’s bracket. They eliminated Lompoc, 12-4, and Reedley, 8-4, on Sunday before battling Santa Maria on Monday.
The win was the second for this group of All-Stars managed by Danny Cosgrove. They previously won the 13-year-old State Championship.
Charlie Monterrosa was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player while Murf Gray and David Zavala also earned All-Tournament honors.
Madera 7, Santa Maria 6
Madera’s back was against the wall in the semifinal game against Santa Maria. They needed three runs in the bottom of the seventh and got it with a Ramirez RBI single to drive in Gray for the walk-off victory.
Monterrosa led Madera with two hits, a triple and two RBIs. Gray also had two hits. Logan Wattenbarger, Isaiah Monge, Ivin Ponce, Ramirez and Brian Monges each had hits.
Santa Maria opened the game with two runs in the top of the first inning.
Gray started a one-out rally in the bottom of the inning with a single. Monge drew a walk and Monterossa tripled to deep center to drive in Gray and Monge to tie the score.
Madera took the lead with a run in the second with the bottom of the order. Josh Castro reached on a one-out error. Ponce singled to right to put runners at first and second. Monges forced Ponce at second, but a wild throw allowed Castro to score for a 3-2 lead.
Madera added another run in the fourth. Michael Monreal drew a one-out walk. David Zavala and Castro drew walks to load the bases. Monges was hit by a pitch to force in Monreal for a 4-2 lead.
Meanwhile, Gray was cruising after a shaky first. He retired eight in a row and allowed two baserunners until the sixth inning.
Santa Maria came through with a one-out rally. An error started the rally. A triple scored a run, an error scored another run followed by a single and flyout to take a 5-4 lead.
After Madera went down in order in the bottom of the sixth, Santa Maria pushed over another run with a two-out, nobody-on rally. A single followed by an error and another single loaded the bases. A walk gave Santa Maria a 6-4 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Hopes were looking dim for Madera when the first two batters were retired int eh bottom of the seventh.
Monges started the rally with an infield single. Wattenbarger followed with another single. Gray and Monge singled in Monges and Gay to tie the score at six.
After Monterrosa was intentionally walked, Ramirez singled up the middle to drive in Gray to walk off a 7-6 victory.
Madera 4, Delano 2
With the win over Santa Maria, Madera used the momentum for a 4-2 victory over Delano.
Madera scored a run in the first, one in the third and two in the fifth for the victory.
Castro was solid on the mound for Madera. He allowed two baserunners, but no hits through the first three innings. He allowed a run in the fourth and another in the sixth to pick up the win in 6 1/3 innings.
Monterrosa came in when Castro ran out of pitches to pick up the save by retiring two of the next three batters.
Gray and Monge led the offense with two hits each. Monterrosa, Ramirez, Castro, Evan Candelaria and Monges each had hits.
Madera got the momentum early with a run in the top of the first inning. Wattenbarger was hit by a pitch and stole second. After Gray was hit by a pitch, Monge singled to left to drive in Wattenbarger.
Gray advanced to third, but was thrown out at the plate after a flyout by Monterrosa.
Madera pushed over a run in the third started by a lead-off single by Monges. After a strikeout, he advanced on a Gray single and scored on a Monterrosa single to right for a 2-0 lead.
After Delano pushed over a run in the bottom of the fourth, Madera came back with two more in the fifth. With one out, Gray doubled over the centerfielder’s head. Monge singled down the left field line to move Gray to third while Monge took second on an error.
Monterrosa flew out to center to drive in Gray and Ramirez singled to left to drive in Monge for a 4-1 lead.
Delano put the pressure on Castro in the third by loading the bases with nobody out. He got a groundout back to him and forced the runner at the plate. He got a pair of groundouts to end the inning without a run.
Delano pushed over a run in the sixth on a one-out walk followed by two two-out singles.
Leading by two, Castro got a groundout back to him for the first out. Monterrosa got a popout to short for the second out. After a walk, Monterrosa got a flyout to Wattenbarger in left to force a deciding game for the state championship.
Madera 5, Delano 5, 8 innings
Madera needed to work a little overtime to secure the 15-year-old state championship, scoring two runs in the eighth inning for the win.
Madera was limited to just five hits, but still battled enough for the victory.
Gray, Monterrosa, Ramirez, Zavala, Marcus DeFranco and Monges each had hits.
With the momentum on its side, Madera scored the first run in the game with one in the second.
Ramirez led off by reaching on an error. Monreal walked and Zavala reached on a sacrifice bunt attempt to load the bases.
After a flyout, DeFranco drew another walk to force in Ramirez. Monges forced DeFranco at second and an offensive interference was called for the final out of the inning.
Delano came back against Monterrosa with two runs in the second. A single, error and sacrifice fly gave Delano a 2-1 lead.
Delano added another run in the fourth with a single, stolen base and wild pitch for a 3-1 lead.
Madera battled back to tie the score in the fifth. Monges led the rally with a single to left. After a strikeout, Gray and Monge reached on errors. Monges and Gray came in to score on another error to tie the score at three.
Both teams couldn’t push over a run until the eighth inning. Delano had a runner thrown out at the plate and another stranded at second in the sixth. Monterrosa also stranded another runner at second in the fifth.
Madera finally scored in the eighth inning. Ramirez led the rally with a walk. Monreal reached on an error. Zavala singled home Ramirez. Evan Candelaria forced Zavala at second to put runners at first and third. DeFranco executed the perfect squeeze bunt to score Monreal to give Madera a two-run lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning.
A lead-off walk hurt Monge in the eighth inning. Delano got a single and, after a strikeout, a single drove in the walk to put runners at second and third with one out.
Monge struck out the next batter and got a grounder to Monreal at first to end the game and give Madera a 5-4 victory and the California State Championship.