Madera National falls to River Park on walk-off
Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Madera National’s Carlos Gomez is excited about driving in the game-tying run in the top of the sixth inning. However, he was left stranded at third and Madera National lost Tuesday’s game in the bottom of the inning.
FRESNO — The Madera National Little League 8-10-year-old All-Stars stayed alive in the District 10 All-Star tournament with a walk-off victory, however, they also fell victim to one in the championship game to River Park.
Madera National earned a bid in the championship game with a 3-0 victory over Chowchilla on Monday. However, their luck ran out in a 2-1 loss to River Park on Tuesday in the deciding game.
“This was Reedley all over again,” manager Richard Palacioz said. “They dug in deep then and did again today. They showed a good, competitive team that we can hang with them. I’m proud of them. The last three games we started jelling. We started coming together.”
Earlier in the tournament, River Park defeated Madera National 10-1 to send them into the loser’s bracket. Madera National reeled off three straight wins, including a nine-inning walk-off victory over Reedley, to face River Park again, who scored 10 or more runs in all of their games.
Against River Park, Madera National had its chances. However, they left nine runners on base and went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Joshua Sandoval led the offense with two hits. Josh Contreras, Jayce Rios and Carlos Gomez each had a hit.
Rios also scored a run while limiting River Park to one run over the first five innings. He struck out four and allowed just four hits.
“Jayce is always consistent,” Palacioz said. “He doesn’t have the fastest pitch, but he can hit his location. He has ice running through his veins because he’s Mr. Cool out there.”
Madera National had a chance to get on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning. Anthony Bursey led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch in the helmet. He stole second and went to third on a groundout. He had a chance to score on a wild pitch, but didn’t take advantage of it.
River Park scored its run in the second with a single, a throwing error and two more singles for a 1-0 lead.
Madera National loaded the bases in the second and put runners at second and third in the fourth, but couldn’t get a run across.
Rios got out of a jam in the fourth with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout.
Madera National finally pushed a run across in the top of the sixth. Rios led off the inning by reaching on an error. He went to second on a wild pitch. Gomez then hit a sharp grounder to short that went under the glove and to the left field fence.
Rios raced around the bases to score the tying run and Gomez ended up at third.
However, a groundout, strikeout and lineout ended the inning tied.
River Park greeted relief pitcher Sandoval with a sharp single up the middle. A wild pick-off throw to first and an elusive slide to second moved the runner up a base. A walk and bunt single loaded the bases with nobody out.
The next batter lifted a fly ball to center that Ryan Atherton caught, but it was deep enough to score the game-winning run and give River Park the District 10 title.
Madera National 3, Chowchilla 0
Madera National scored a run in the first three innings and Carlos Gomez made it stand in for a 3-0 victory to send the all-stars to the District 10 championship game.
Gomez was efficient in the victory tossing 67 pitches in the four-hit shutout. He walked two and struck out four to get the win.
Jayden Roman led the offense with two of the three hits for Madera Naitonal. He scored two of the three runs, as well. Ryan Atherton got the other hit and Jayce Rios scored the other run.
Gomez allowed just three runners to reach scoring position. One was thrown out at the plate on a wild pitch and the other two were stranded by groundouts.
Roman got the scoring started in the first. On the eighth pitch of his at-bat, he singled and went to second on a wild pitch. He advanced to third on a Joshua Sandoval flyout and scored when Ryan Atherton reached on an error.
Aiden Juarez reached on another error and Atherton advanced to third. On a wild pitch, Atherton tried to score, but he was tagged out to end the inning.
Rios led off the second with a walk. He went to second on a wild pitch and to third on a Gomez sacrifice bunt. Rios scored on a wild pitch to Josiah Mejia for a 2-0 lead.
Roman led the third inning rally with a one-out single to left. After a flyout, Roman went to third on an Atherton single to left. Juarez reached on an error and Roman scored the third run of the game.
Theran van Loon led off the fourth by reaching on an error. He went to second on a passed ball and to third on an error, but he was stranded on a pair of strikeouts and a popout.
Gomez closed the game with a pair of groundouts back to hm. After a walk, Gomez got a flyout to left to send Madera National to the District 10 championship game.