MNLL walks it off in epic dual
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera National’s Esteven Gonzalez races to the plate to score the tying run to complete the comeback Tuesday evening. Madera National scored three runs in the sixth to force extra innings and won in the 10th inning.
The previous two times Madera National faced Madera American, it resulted in instant classics and the recent 11-12-year-old All-Star game between the two leagues was another instant classic.
The Madera National All-Stars scored the game-winning run on a catcher’s interference call to end a three-hour, 40-minute, 10-inning game with a 7-6 victory to send them to the District 10 championship game.
The two pitching staffs combined for 384 pitches. Both teams had two pitchers reach their 85-pitch limit. The two teams combined to leave 27 batters on base and committed eight errors.
Edward Perez picked up the win in just 1/3 inning of work for Madera National. Jayce Rios tossed six inning in relief of Estevan Gonzalez. The three pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts, but allowed nine hits and walked nine.
For Madera American, Roman Aguilar was solid through the first five innings, allowing just one hit and one run with 13 strikeouts. The three Madera American pitchers combined for 20 strikeouts and allowed just five hits and walked seven batters.
Benton Ellington, who also tossed 3 2/3 innings for Madera American, led both teams with three hits. Juan Gil had two hits with two RBIs and a double for Madera American.
Carlos Gomez led Madera National with a pair of hits, two RBIs and a double.
Madera National got on the scoreboard first with a run in the third inning, but Madera American scored in three straight innings to take the lead before Madera National tied it with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Both teams scored a run in the ninth and American scored a run in the top of the 10th before National walked it off on a catcher’s interference call.
Julian Valdez started the rally in the bottom of the third inning with a full-count walk. Rios forced him at second and advanced to second on a passed ball. After a walk to Caden Warden, Rios went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Gomez’s two-out single for a 1-0 lead.
Madera American tied the game in the next half inning when Freddy Flores led off with a single up the middle. Ellington singled Flores to second. After a strikeout, A.J. Resendez drew a walk to load the bases.
Kevin Osuna singled up the middle to drive in Flores to tie the game at one.
American took the lead with an unearned run in the top of the fifth. Gil drew a full-count walk. Kingston Garcia drew a walk to move runners over. Flores struck out on a ball in the dirt and tried to head to first, but was already ruled out. Madera National threw to first to try to get Flores, but the out had been made. However, pinch-runner Granados tried to head to third on the play. The throw across the diamond to get Granados went into left field and Granados scored the go-ahead run.
American put together a two-out, nobody on rally in the top of the sixth inning. Gilbert Dela Fuente drew a walk and Roman Aguilar doubled off the centerfield fence to put runners at second and third.
Gil followed with another double off the centerfield fence to drive in Dela Fuente and Aguilar for a 4-1 lead.
Madera National didn’t go away. Aguilar, after allowing just one run over five innings on just one hit, reached his pitch limit and Ellington came in relief.
Ellington wasn’t welcomed as the first three batters reached base. Warden singled to left and went to second on a wild pitch. Gomez doubled to right-center on a misplayed ball to drive in Warden.
Gonzalez drew a walk and a wild pitch advanced the runners 60 feet. Another wild pitch allowed Gomez to score and a wild throw to the plate on another wild pitch allowed Gonzalez to score the tying run.
Ellington got a groundout and a strikeout to get out of the inning.
Neither team scored in the seventh and the eighth when a runner was placed at second for international tiebreaker.
Madera American finally scored a run in the ninth. Gil sacrificed Aguilar to second and Garcia reached on an error that allowed Aguilar to score the go-ahead run.
Madera American seemed to have the upper hand in the ninth. Perez advanced to third on a wild pitch and Johnny Fong reached on a wild pitch in the dirt.
On another ball in the dirt, Perez was thrown out trying to score a the plate. Julian Valdez singled to right to drive in Fong with the game-tying run, but was tagged out in a run down after thinking the hit won the game and he roamed too far off of second.
National still put the pressure on by reaching on an error and drawing a pair of walks to load the bases. Garcia came in relief of Ellington and got a groundout to end the inning.
Raymond Espinoza began the 10th inning at second and went to third on a wild pitch. Resendez hit a grounder to third. Madera National tried to get Espinoza out, who broke for the plate. However, the throw went wide and Espinoza scored the go-ahead run.
The National All-Stars kept battling away in the 10th inning. With Gonzalez at second with the tying run, Aiden Juarez put down a sacrifice bunt.
However, the throw to get Juarez went wide of first and into right field. Gonzalez came in to score the tying run while Juarez hustled to third.
Aguilar was hit by a pitch and stole second.
With nobody out and on a full-count pitch, Perez struck out swinging. However, it was ruled that the catcher hit Perez’s bat on the swing, thus a catcher’s interference was called. Perez was awarded first base and both runners advanced 60 feet. Juarez hit home plate with the game-winning run for a 7-6 Madera National victory.