MALL takes District 10 title

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

The Madera American Little League 11-12-year-old All-Star team celebrates with the banner after winning the District 10 championship after an 11-0 victory over Madera National on Thursday.


The Madera American Little League 11-12-year-old All-Star team completed its run through the District 10 All-Star tournament with an 11-0 victory over Madera National.

Madera American took advantage of eight Madera National errors to score 10 unearned runs in Thursday’s championship, Madera American’s first since 2015.

“It feels good to get this title,” manager Guni Grewal said. “We’ve been right there in the final game for many years. I knew we could get over the hump. They (Madera National) are an excellent team. My hats are off to them. They had a great postseason.”

The Madera American All-Star team will get a mini vacation before playing again. Their next game will be July 12 in the Section 7 Tournament.

The win continues a great run by Grewal and his M.A.L.L. and City championship Lee’s Concrete players (Jorge Gutierrez, Frankie Espejo, Abel Martinez, Noah Castro and Dominic Rosel) who have lost just one game all season.

“Our Lee’s kids did really well,” Grewal said. “It’s so nice that we do just as well with the All-Star team.”

Eric Wilson blanked the Madera National All-Stars on three hits. He threw just 78 pitches in an 11 strikeout shutout. He didn’t walk a batter and retired the side in order in three innings.

“He was excellent,” Grewal said.

Nine different Madera American players had hits, led by Noah Castro, who had three and also scored three runs. Wilson and Espejo added two hits each.

Andrew Rodriguez had two of Madera National’s three hits. Xavier Cantu had the other hit.

“When we hit the ball hard, they made some errors. We just capitalized on it,” Grewal said.

Madera American put Madera National into an early hole with a two-out, nobody on rally. Castro started the rally with a single up the middle. In his last two games, Castro was 5-for-7 with a triple and four runs scored.

Wilson hit a fly ball to right field that was dropped for an error and Castro advancwd to third and Wilson went to second. Mosqueda then hit a single to left field. Castro and Wilson both came in to score for a 2-0 lead.

Madera National put pressure on Wilson in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Peyton Reed reached on an error. Xavier Cantu singled him to second. However, Wilson got a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.

Madera American added a run in the third, its only earned run. Castro, again, started the rally with a single to right-center. He advanced to third after Wilson grounded out, but a wild throw allowed Castro to take third. Espejo flied out to center and Castro scored for a 3-0 lead.

Madera National threatened to cut into the lead in the fifth inning. P.J. Garcia was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Wilson got back-to-back strikeouts, but Andrew Rodriguez singled up the middle and both runners advanced on an error to put runners at second and third.

Wilson settled down with a strikeout to get out of the inning.

Madera American blew open the game in the sixth after starter Bradin Hatfield left the game because of pitch count.

Hatfield tossed the first four innings and allowed one earned run with three strikeouts and five hits. Joseph Bass led off the sixth with a single up the middle. Gutierrez put down a bunt, but it was misplayed to put runners at first and third. Gutierrez was thrown out trying to steal third, but Bass came in to score.

Alvarez reached on an error. After a popout, Elijah Tang singled. Martinez singled to right to drive in Alvarez for a 5-0 lead.

Castro singled up the middle to drive in Tang and Wilson singled home Martinez.

Espejo had the big hit with a drive to right-center for a triple while Wilson and Castro each scored. Bass followed by reaching on an error while Espejo scored.

Gutierrez was the seventh straight batter to reach base with a single to right to drive in Bass for the eighth run of the inning and blow open the championship game.

For Wilson, it was no problem in the sixth. He struck out two and got a groundout while facing the No. 3, 4 and 5 batters in the Madera National line up to secure Madera American’s District 10 title.