Lee’s Concrete captures MALL title


Manuel Guillen/The Madera Tribune

Lee’s Concrete is all smiles after capturing the Madera American Little League Championship with a 6-2 victory over Holiday Muffler on Monday night.

 

For the 10th time as a manager of Lee’s Concrete, Guni Grewal won the Madera American Little League championship.


However, if you ask Grewal, all the accolades should go to the kids. He just writes their name on the line-up card.


His kids came through in the clutch Monday night in a 6-2 victory over Holiday Muffler, who was the top seed.


Lee’s broke open a 2-2 game in the sixth inning with four runs for the victory.


“I’m telling them to stay off the curveballs,” Grewal said. “Don’t swing on a curveball until you have two strikes on you. Sit on the fastball. The best way to hit a curveball is to hit the pitch before that. Their pitchers threw well.”


Chris Cappelluti had the big hit with a two-run single Joban Hans went 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI.


“Cappelluti’s hit was big,” Grewal said. “My 12-year-old’s came through in the last inning. Alonzo (Lopez) started it off with that little looper. Aiden (Aguilar) got on and Chris got that hit. Everybody contributed tonight. These kids are awesome.”


Hans got the win on the mound. He allowed five hits and an unearned run in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out 14 and walked one. Aguilar struck out two in the final 1/3 inning.


“Joban did what he did all year. He and Aiden dominated people all year,” Grewal said.


Jake Guerra led Holiday Muffler with two hits, a run scored and an RBI. He also allowed two unearned runs over the first three innings. He allowed two hits and struck out five. Thomas Rodriguez suffered the loss. He allowed four runs and struck out seven, but his four walks in the sixth hurt him.


Holiday Muffler got the scoring started in the bottom of the first before Hans could settle in.


Rodriguez led off the first with double to left-center. Guerra singled home Rodriguez for the first run of the game.


Guerra advanced to second on a passed ball and then stole third. After Ryan Munoz walked, Guerra was caught off third by Lee’s catcher Roman Aguilar. However, the third baseman dropped the throw and Guerra scored for a 2-0 lead.


From there, Hans shut down the Holiday offense. He allowed just two baserunners from the second to the fifth inning and struck out 10 batters in that span.


Holiday had a chance to add to its lead in the second. With two outs, Kevin Osuna singled, stole second and advanced to third on an error. However, he tried to score and was tagged out at the plate.


Lee’s took that momentum to the third inning. With one out, Aiden Aguilar reached on an error. After a walk to Cappelluti, Hans doubled to right-center to drive in Aguilar. Two batters later, Emmit Zubadio hit a grounder to second, but the first baseman missed the throw to allow Cappelluti to score the game-tying run.


Martinez was getting himself in and out of trouble in the fourth and fifth innings. Hw allowed two runners on base with less than two outs in both innings, but struck out the side in both innings to keep the score tied.


In the sixth, No. 9 batter Lopez led off with a bloop single to right. He advanced to third on Aiden Aguilar’s line-drive double to the left-centerfield fence.


Cappelluti singled to left to drive in both Lopez and Aguilar to break the tie and lead 4-2.


Hans was intentionally walked for the second time in the game. Martinez then got a groundout for the second out of the inning.

However, Martinez couldn’t find the strike zone. Zubadio walked on four pitches to load the bases. Freddy Flores drew a walk to force in Cappelluti. Jorge Gonzalez drew a full-count walk to drive in Hans for a 6-2 lead. Martinez got a pop-up to end the inning.


Holiday didn’t go down quietly in the sixth with Hans reaching his pitch-count limit.


Guerra led off with an infield single. Deegan Shandoor forced him at second, but Alonzo Del Toro followed with a single to left. Hans struck out the next batter, but reached his pitch limit.


Aiden Aguilar struck out the next batter, but the ball went to the backstop and Juan Gil reached to load the bases. Aguilar calmly struck out the next batter on three pitches to give Lee’s Concrete another Madera American Little League championship.