MNLL All-Stars eliminated in Sections
Wendy Alexander/The madera Tribune
Madera National’s Jordan Aguilar gets a hit against Visalia on Thursday in the opening game of the Section 7 11-12-year-old All-Star Tournament in Madera. Aguilar also had two hits in Saturday’s elimination game.
The Madera National Little League 11-12-year-old All-Stars knew they had an uphill battle needing to beat the Visalia All-Stars twice for the Section 7 Championship at their home ballpark.
They needed everything to go their way Saturday if they were going to force a deciding game Sunday. However, the offense only managed three hits and Visalia’s two-run home run was enough for a 2-0 victory Saturday to deny the hosts of a section title.
In a classic pitcher’s dual, Madera’s Carlos Gomez and Visalia’s Trent Lira battled toe-to-toe, but it was just one mistake that led the game-winning runs for Visalia.
Lira allowed just three hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out 12 for the win. While Gomez wasn’t as intimidating with the stats, he still got the job done. He allowed three hits and struck out five, but one of his three walks scored.
Jordan Aguilar recorded two hits for Madera National and Gomez had the other.
Lira was in command for most of the game and allowed just one baserunner to second.
Gomez singled with one out in the first, but Lira struck out the next five batters in a row. Aguilar led off the third with a single, but was forced out at second. Then, Jayce Rios flied out to right and Madera National was doubled up at first to end the inning.
Aguilar led off the sixth with a single and a wild pitch moved pinch-runner Ayden Kemmer to second for Madera’s lone runner in scoring position in the game.
However, Lira got a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to end the game.
Gomez got into trouble in the bottom of the second inning by walking the lead-off batter on a full count.
On an 0-2 pitch, Gomez caught too much of the plate and Visalia’s Kobe Castro launched the ball over the centerfield fence to the right of the scoreboard for a two-run home run.
Gomez allowed runners in each of the next three innings but none got past second base.
After the home run, Gomez retired the side in order. He allowed a lead-off single in the third, but retired the next four batters before Castro hit a one-out single in the fourth.
Gomez walked the next batter to give Visalia its only runner in scoring position. Gomez retired the next two batters to end the inning.
Gomez allowed a lead-off walk in the fifth, but got out of it unscathed.
Unfortunately, Madera National’s offense couldn’t offset Visalia’s two-run home run in the Section 7 championships.