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Orioles flying high

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In the final Little League game to be played in the Meadow City in 2013, the Red Sox almost conjured enough magic for another championship, but it was ultimately the Orioles’ turn to soar.

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Capping a day of competitive, entertaining finals in the Las Vegas Little League, the Orioles held on to edge the Sox 16-15 in front of a few hundred fans Friday night at Keyes Park.

The Sox rallied to overcame a 10-3 deficit, taking a 13-10 lead in the fourth inning. But the Orioles regained control with the help of a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth and took a 16-13 lead into the final frame. The Sox were able to muster two runs off a wild pitch, but O’s relief pitcher Justyn Gold-Lujan struck out the final batter to put the game away.

The Red Sox struck first as Robert Silva’s two-run double opened scoring in the first inning. Orioles pitcher Lonny Ray Montoya  escaped the first-bases-loaded jam of the evening to avoid further damage in the top of the second. Then O’s Juan Bustamante and Steven Pedro hit two-run doubles in the bottom half of the frame.

A passed ball with the bases loaded couple with a defensive miscue resulted in three Red Sox runs in the third. The Sox’s Zachary Jordan followed that sequence with a two-run triple to make it 10-8. By inning’s end, the score was even at 10-10, and only a fine grab by O’s first baseman Isaiah Ortiz brought an end to the surge.

Both Ortiz and the Sox’s Zachary Kirkpatrick made heads-up plays on defense playing first base.

Zac Jordan smashed a three-run bomb in the top of the fourth to make it 13-10 Sox.

The O’s ended their brief drought when 6 connected on an RBI double to cut the Sox lead to 13-11.

That set up an inportant fifth inning for the O’s, highlighted by Montoya’s pivotal three-run homer.

SOFTBALL: STARS 15, LADY LONGHORNS 12
In the LVLL Softball Division, it was a meeting of the No. 1 seed Lady Longhorns and the No. 2 Stars for the title.

And while the ‘Horns can say they are the team that eliminated the reigning champ Lady Devils, the Stars wound up with the ultimate bragging rights for the season.

The Stars’ six-run third inning propelled them to an 8-2 cushion.

The Lady Longhorns kept battling, though, and drew within 10-8 by the fifth inning.

Scoring five big runs in the top of the sixth, the Stars had the answer they needed, wrapping up a 15-12 victory.

McKayla Encinias was solid and durable on the mound for the Stars.

MINORS: RIVERCATS 6, RED WINGS 5
In the Minors Division, the Rivercats held off a game challenge from the upstart Red Wings in a 6-5 verdict.

The Cats scored five in the first inning, leading 5-3 going into the second, and Angelica Vigil trotted across for the eventual game-winning run in the third.

The fifth-seeded Wings had upset the No. 1 Sandgnats in the semifinals on Wednesday, handing the Gnats just their second defeat.

Notes: La Plaza Little League crowned its three champs six days earlier, with the Majors White Sox, Minors Phillies and Softball Lady Angels earning championships on a sunny Saturday at Rodriguez Park. (See June 17 Optic for coverage.) ... All-Star teams from both leagues are preparing for district tournaments to be held early July in Santa Rosa.