McDonald’s gets revenge for title
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Members of McDonald’s gathers with the District 10 Tournament of Champions Championship banner after a walk-off victory over Holiday Muffler on Saturday at River Park Little League’s field. The win avenged a loss to Holiday in the City Championship last week.
FRESNO — Madera National Little League champions, McDonald’s, overcame a three-run deficit in the bottom of the sixth inning to walk-off with a 12-11 victory over Madera American Little League champions, Holiday Muffler, to win the District 10 Tournament of Champions title.
The win came a week after McDonald’s was stifled by Holiday Muffler, 3-1, in the City Championship game. However, it was the depth of McDonald’s pitching that keyed the win.
Estevan Gonzalez got the win on the mound with four innings pitched. He allowed seven runs, five earned, but struck out nine. He also helped his own cause with a grand slam to get McDonald’s back in the game with a seven-run fourth inning.
“Estevan came through and always steps up,” said McDonald’s manager Ernesto Rios. “Normally, we rely on our defense, but the defense was failing in this game. We needed to count on our offense. The strike zone was hurting us so I had to change my pitchers.”
Both teams combined for seven errors and eight unearned runs.
Holiday Muffler got a big day from Jake Guerra. He hit two home runs, including a grand slam in the top of the sixth to give his team the lead. He drove in seven of Holiday’s 12 runs and also stole a base.
While McDonald’s used its two best pitchers with Gonzalez also starting the City Championship game, Holiday Muffler threw two pitchers who combined for two innings pitched all season — brothers Rodrigo and Kevin Osuna.
However, it was Holiday Muffler that got the scoring started in the top of the first. Rodrigo Osuna led off the game with a walk. After a flyout, Guerra hit the second pitch he saw over the centerfield fence for a two-run home run.
Juan Gil followed with a sinking liner to right field that got by the rightfielder for a triple. He came in to score on a Noah Castillo groundout for a 3-0 lead.
Holiday added to its lead in the second with two outs. Osuna started the rally with a double to right-center. His brother, Kevin, followed with a triple to the right-centerfield ally to drive home Rodrigo. However, Kevin was caught up in a rundown between third and home and was tagged out.
McDonald’s pushed over a run in the third. Jayden Romero led off with a walk. Jayce Rios, who started the game on the mound, singled to left. Ayden Kemmer forced out Jayce Rios at second while Romero took third. Carlos Gomez hit a two-out single to left to drive home McDonalds’ first run of the game.
Holiday added two more runs in the fourth. Alonso Rosel was hit by an 0-2 pitch leading off the inning. After a strikeout, Gianni Salas was also hit by a pitch. After a groundout, Gonzalez hit his third batter of the inning to load the bases. Guerra drew a full-count walk to force in Rosel and Salas stole home on a throw back to the pitcher to extend the lead to 6-1.
McDonald’s forced its way back into the game in the fourth. Blake Reed led off the inning by reaching on a single. Jordan Aguilar hit a grounder to third. The Holiday third baseman thought a runner was coming to third, but Reed held at second after advancing on a wild pitch. The throw to first was too late for Aguilar. Caleb Garcia drew a full-count walk to load the bases.
After a strikeout, a wild pitch to Julian Rios drove in Reed. Jayce Rios reached on a fielder’s choice, forcing Garcia at third for the second out.
Kemmer singled up the middle to drive in Julian Rios. Carlos Gomez was intentionally walked to load the bases.
It took four pitches for Gonzalez to unload the bases with an shot over the centerfold fence for a grand slam to give McDonald’s an 8-6 lead.
Holiday cut the lead down to one in the fifth. Castillo led off the inning with a double to left-center. Catano struck out on a pitch in the dirt. The throw to get him at first went into right field and Castillo came around to score to cut the lead to 8-7.
Holiday battled back to take the lead in the top of the sixth. It started with No. 9 batter Salas reaching on an error. Rodrigo Osuna reached on a bunt single and Kevin Osuna drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases.
Three pitches later, Guerra unloaded the bases with a screaming liner over the right-centerfield fence for a grand slam to give Holiday an 11-8 lead. Gonzalez settled down to strike out three of the next four batters to set the stage for the bottom of the sixth.
Jayce Rios led off with a double down the left field line and scored on an throwing error. Kemmer kept the rally going with a single to right. Gomez hit a double to the right-centerfield fence to drive home Kemmer and cut the lead to one.
“My coach, Christian (Aguilar), said, ‘Once we tie, who are we pitching next,’” Rios said. “I turned around and told him, ‘We’re not pitching anyone because we’re winning.’ That’s how much confidence I had.”
Gonzalez was intentionally walked to put two on. Reed reached on an error on a bunt to load the bases.
A wild pitch to No. 8 hitter Jesse Frausto brought in Gomez to tie the score at 11. Frausto drew a walk to load the bases and Mateo Teran came to the plate.
“I was a little worried with the bottom of the order, but when I need them, they come through,” Rios said.
On a 2-2 count, Teran was hit in the back with a pitch to set off the celebration. Gonzalez came in to score the winning run and Teran has a bruise the won McDonald’s the District 10 Tournament of Champions banner.