Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
The Madera National Little League 10-12-year-old All-Star team celebrates winning the Section 7 championship after a 6-5, nine-inning, walk-off thriller over host Porterville on Sunday. Madera National next plays Sunday in Castro Valley in the Nor Cal State Championship.
Ninth inning walk-off sends Madera National to State
PORTERVILLE — In the Section 7 championship game against host Porterville, the Madera National Little League 10-12-year-old All-Star team had plenty of obstacles to overcome and it took a ninth inning sacrifice fly to win to send them to the State Championships in Castro Valley.
Like he did in Madera National’s last victory, Paul Stroemer came through in the clutch. His sixth-inning, two-out single Thursday gave Madera National a 3-2 victory over Porterville to send Madera National to the Section 7 title game.
With a runner at third, Stroemer hit a deep fly ball to right that easily scored Joel Arellano, who doubled, from third for the tournament-winner in a 6-5 victory Sunday over Porterville.
Madera National had a proverbial hill to climb in Sunday’s game. Porterville beat Madera National, handily, the previous night to force the penultimate game. Madera National traveled to Porterville for the fourth time in five games and faced a hostile crowd. On top of that, Porterville’s best player returned from a trip to New York with his travel team to start on the mound.
Madera National persevered and came through with the win despite the obstacles. They forced the ace out of the game in the fifth inning, Aiden Medina silenced the pro-Porterville crowd with a three-run, bases clearing double to tie the game and Stroemer sent Madera National celebrating into the night.
“We’ve been with our backs against the wall a whole bunch of times,” head coach Rolando Arredondo said. “They persevered through everything. They literally bought into what I’ve been telling them — hard work, dedication, desire. If you want to succeed as much as your breathe, you have to keep pushing forward. We wanted to succeed as much as we breathed today and we accomplished our goal.”
Madera National next plays Sunday in the State Championship game in Castro Valley at 9 a.m.
“It was pretty cool to get the win,” winning pitcher Isaiah Sanchez said.
“It’s so much relief off our backs to get this championship,” Arredondo said. “We’re so happy. We’re already looking at our next goal. There’s so much to do. Our ultimate goal is Williamsport. That’s where we want to go.”
Madera National 6, Porterville 5
Madera National came from back from a three-run deficit in the fifth inning to tie the game and then overcame a two-run deficit in the ninth inning to win the game.
Although outhit 8-6, Madera National got the hits it needed and worked the count in its favor. They drew six walks and forced Porterville’s ace out of the game in four-plus innings.
“They came out a whole different team swinging the bats today,” Arredondo said. “They kept working the count to get their pitcher out of the game. It ultimately paid off at the end.”
Medina got the big hit with a three-run double. Joel Arellano drove in two runs, hit a double and scored twice. In addition to getting the win, Arellano hit a double, drove in two and scored two. Josh McKeever singled and scored a run. Trevor Teran scored a run and Jaydian Chavira also singled.
“Medina came up with the big hit,” Arredondo said. “Stroemer with the second game in a row with a walk-off. It’s awesome.”
Despite allowing three runs, two earned, Arellano struck out seven over a 5 1/3 innings. He seemed snake bit with Porterville getting seeing-eye singles early in the game.
Sanchez came in relief after Arellano ran out of pitches in the sixth inning. He allowed two unearned runs in 3 2/3 innings with just one hit and five strikeouts.
“I was trying to be like a killer,” Sanchez said. “I tried to throw as many strikes as I can and trust my defense. The crowd was getting me amped up a lot.”
Porterville carried the momentum from the previous night into the first inning Sunday. Three seeing-eye singles and an error allowed two runs to score for the early lead.
Arellano allowed two baserunners over the next three innings with five strikeouts without a run scoring. In the fifth, a single, forceout and two wild pitches allowed another run to score.
Madera National started to get to the Porterville ace in the third inning with a single from Chavira and a walk by Huarte.
in the fourth, Aiden Ramirez, Blake Burton and Mason Roberts drew walks to load the bases, but a strikeout ended the threat.
In the fifth, McKeever reached on an infield single. Sanchez forced him at second and Arellano reached on an error. After a strikeout, Teran drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases.
On the first pitch, Medina laced a double to the left-centerfield fence to score Sanchez, Arellano and Teran from first to tie the score at three.
“I had a lot of confidence and was looking for base hits,” Medina said. “I was hyped up with the hit.”
Madera National had a chance for the win in the sixth when Huarte reached on an error, McKeever advanced him with a bunt and Sanchez drew a walk. However, Arellano just missed on a pitch and flied out to the right field warning track.
After scoreless seventh, both teams had a chance to score in the eighth.
After a flyout, a bunt single and a walk loaded the bases for Porterfille.
The next batter hit a grounder to the right of second. Second baseman McKeever made a diving play on the ball and came up with it. He flipped to Sanchez for the force at second and Sanchez threw a strike to Chavira at first for the highlight-reel double play.
With Brenton Bohm at second on the tiebreaker in the eighth, he went to third on Chavira’s groundout. However a lineout and a strikeout ended the threat.
In the ninth, Porterville got the go-ahead run to third with one out. After a strikeout, an intentional walk put runners at the corner. A wild pitch moved the runner to second. However, Sanchez threw another in the dirt that got by Teran and bounced around the backstop to allow the go-ahead run to score. Sanchez missed Teran’s throw and Porterville scored another run to take a two-run lead into the bottom of the ninth.
With McKeever at second on the tiebreaker, Sanchez singled up the middle to put runners on the corners.
Arellano then drove a pitch by the second baseman and to the right-centerfield fence to drive in McKeever and the speedy Sanchez from first.
After Arellano advanced to third on a wild pitch, Stroemer lifted a fly ball to right that was plenty deep enough to score Arellano with the game-winning run and set off the celebration.
“I tried to get a base hit to help the team,” Stroemer said. “I just wanted Joel to score and get the win.”
Porterville 9, Madera National 1
With a chance to win the Section 7 tournament, the Madera National All-Stars couldn’t find its footing in a tough loss to the host team.
Porterville scored four runs in the third with two home runs and five more in the final three innings for the 9-1 victory.
Huarte suffered the loss in 3 1/3 innings, allowing six runs, five earned.
Madera National actually outhit Porterville (8-7), but also left eight runners on base and committed four errors, which led to three unearned runs.
Sanchez led the offense with three hits, a double and a run scored. Arellano hit a run-scoring double. Teran had two singles and Stroemer and Chavira each had singles.
Madera National’s lone run came in he third inning when Sanchez singled and Arellano doubled him home.
Madera National left a runner in scoring position with less than two outs in three innings without getting a run.
Madera National 3, Porterville 2
In the first meeting between the teams, Stroemer highlighted late-game heroics for Madera National to send them into the championship game undefeated.
Porterville scored a run in he first and another in the third to take a 2-0 lead.
Madera National battled back with two runs in the fourth to tie it up. Sanchez started the rally with a triple and scored when Arellano reached on an error. Arellano tied the score when he scored on Teran’s double.
Arellano then silenced Porterville to set up sixth-inning magic from Stroemer.
Sanchez started the game-winning rally by reaching on an error. He advanced to second on an Arellano single.
Two batters later, Stroemer hit the first pitch he saw for a single to drove in Sanchez for the 3-2 walk-off victory.
Madera National 6, Delano 2
Madera National opened the Section 7 tournament with a decisive 6-2 victory over Delano.
Madera National scored a run in the second, a run in the third and two in the fourth and fifth for the victory.
Seven different players had hits for Madera National led by two from Medina, who also scored two runs and hit a double. Stroemer drove in two and Arellano and Sanchez each hit doubles.
Madera National got on the scoreboard in the second. Medina hit a on-out single and scored on a Stroemer two-out single.
McKeever led off the third with a single, went to second on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch for a 2-0 lead.
Teran led off the fourth with a walk and scored on Medina’s single. After a strikeout, Stroemer grounded out to drive in Medina for a 4-1 lead.
Madera National extended the lead in the sixth. McKeever led off the inning with a single and scored on Sanchez’s double. Arellano followed with another double for the 6-1 lead.
Delano scored a run in the sixth for the 6-2 final.