Wowing 'em with walk-offs

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Five Little League teams win local championships

By Dave Kavanaugh

Five local youth baseball and softball teams celebrated divisional championship victories over the weekend at Keyes Park (Las Vegas Little League) and Rodriguez Park (La Plaza Little League).


While LVLL Minors baseball and tee-ball on both sides of town will still be played for a few more games, much of the Little Leaguers’ attention now shifts to the upcoming District 4 tournaments, to be hosted by La Plaza at Rodriguez Park starting on June 23.

The following is a roundup of this past weekend’s league tournament finals.

Las Vegas Little League softball: Gators 15, Crimson Tide 5,
(4 innings)

Azlynn Padilla gave up only one hit and struck out 11 batters in keeping the Gators in control.
Angelyna Romero and Taylor Quintana led off the bottom of the first inning by drawing walks. Romero made it home on an error. Gabrielle Rivera singled, and then both Quintana and Rivera scored via wild pitches.

Alyxa King, who reached on a catcher interference call, also ended up scoring on a wild pitch to make it 4-0 Gators.
The Crimson Tide had a couple of base runners on after Alma Malo was hit by a pitch and Chloe Yara drew a walk to lead off the second. But Padilla struck out the next three to escape unscathed.
After loading the bases in the bottom of the second, the Gators scored three on a double by Padilla to claim a 7-0 advantage.
With a two-out rally, the Tide got on the scoreboard in the third. Angelica Vigil walked and ended up scoring on a failed pickoff attempt. Two batters later, Malo struck out but reached anyway, and a Gator miscue on the play enabled Inez to score to make it 7-2. The Tide loaded the bases, but an alert play by the catcher led to a successful pickoff at third for the third out.
Three walks and two defensive errors led to three more runs for the Gators in the top of the third before Padilla hit a three-run, inside-the-park home run to make it 13-2.
Padilla struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the frame, but again the Tide rallied, extending the game. Mia Chavez and Jordan Varela walked, and then Angelica Vigil hit an RBI single. Another run came in on a passed ball, and it was 13-5.
The Gators reached and wound up scoring on a passed ball. King walked and when she scored on a wild pitch, the 10-run rule was invoked, allowing the Gators to celebrate.

Las Vegas Little League Majors
baseball: Dodgers 14, Yankees 4
(5 innings)

Most of Friday night’s game was a nip-and-tuck battle, with each team getting the lead twice. The No. 2 seed Dodgers scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fourth and then pulled away with an eight-run deluge in the fifth.
Marcus Sena’s RBI triple gave the No. 4 seed Yankees — who stunned the top-seeded, regular-season champ Red Sox in the semifinals — an early lead. Mario Garcia walked and then went on to score on a wild pitch. Same for Adrian, making it 3-0 Yanks.

With both starting pitchers — Sena for the Yankees and Rico Montoya for the Dodgers — settling in after that first half-inning, neither team managed to score any more until the bottom of the third. 

Brian Lucero led off that at-bat by getting hit by a pitch and then stealing second. Evan Vigil walked before Lucero scored on a passed ball. Montoya reached, and Vigil scored. Two batters later, James “J.J.” Montoya hit an RBI single, scoring Judah Gutierrez to tie the game. He ended up making it home to give the Dodgers their first lead at 4-3.
The Yankees scored with two outs in the top of the fourth, tying the game.
But the Dodgers were only getting warmed up offensively. Brian reached on a fielder’s choice, then scored on a triple by Rico Montoya, who darted home himself to make it 6-4.
Rico Montoya’s home run in the top of the fifth highlighted an at-bat in which seven of the Dodgers scored at least one run (J.J. Montoya scored twice, the latter run putting an end to the game). Lucero added a triple and Gutierrez a double in the inning.

La Plaza Little League Minors
baseball: Thunder 5, Muckdogs 4

The Thunder struck for a second consecutive season in winning its division title, but the Muckdogs made the team earn it in an entertaining Saturday morning final.
The Muckdogs jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Xavier Martinez rocked an inside-the-park home run for the equalizer. Casimiro Duran Jr. followed that with his own in-park homer to claim a 3-2 edge for the Thunder in the bottom of the first.
In the top of the third, Julian Pacheco sent an in-park home run into the outfield, scoring Gabriel Sena, who’d gotten on with a single. That reclaimed the lead for the Dogs at 4-3.
The Muckdogs had a prime opportunity to build on that lead when Junior Baca tripled up the left-field line in the top of the fourth. But Xavier Martinez, who’d just come into the game to pitch, left Baca stranded at third while he got the last two outs.
Martinez hit his second home run of the morning, this one a solo shot, to tie the contest at 4-4 in the bottom of the inning. This time it was Muckdog pitcher Aiden Pacheco’s turn to shine, as he gave up a triple to Duran but stranded him at third.
Pacheco walked Jake Arguello and Robert Sanchez to start the bottom of the fifth, but he then struck out the next three batters to get out of the inning.
Entering the final inning with the score still tied, the Dogs threatened. Bella Maes got on after taking a pitch to the side of her batting helmet, Baca reached on a fielder’s choice, and then Daniel Kwan walked. But the Thunder held, stranding two runners.
Pacheco intentionally walked Martinez and then struck out Duran before reaching his pitch limit. Reliever Julian Pacheco struck out Brito, but then Logan Salazar roped a double to score Martinez for the walk-off triumph.

La Plaza Little League softball:
Sundevils 11, Hurricanes 10

Hannah Mora’s RBI single scored Judy Parkinson for the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth and final inning, capping a four-run comeback for the Sundevils.

The Sundevils won the 1 vs. 2 matchup and added the tournament title to their regular-season crown.

Briana Montoya’s RBI groundout scored Jordyn Zaldivar for the first run of the game, and the Sundevils led 1-0 in the bottom of the first.

Lexi Garcia’s two-run double with two outs and the bases loaded lifted the Hurricanes to a 2-1 edge in the second.

Miranda Arguello drilled a shot to right center for a two-run, in-park home run to reclaim the lead in the bottom of the third. Zaldivar followed that with a walk and ended up scoring on a passed ball to make it 4-2 Sundevils.

Maddie Marquez struck out for what would’ve been the third out in the top of the fourth, but she hustled to first on a dropped ball, while the two base runners ahead of her also took off running. An error led to three runs being scored on the play, and the Hurricanes pulled back ahead 5-4.

Denika Montoya’s RBI triple tied the game before Zaldivar scored on a passed ball to regain control for the Devils, 6-5, through four complete innings.

Vianey Abeyta doubled, Luna Gonzales hit an RBI groundout, and Abeyta scored on a passed ball to put the Canes ahead 7-6 in the top of the fifth.

Makayla Gonzales’ leadoff single for the Devils paid off two batters later when Monique Gonzales reached on an error that resulted in the tying run. Through five innings, it was 7-7.
Abeyta’s inside-the-park home run with two outs in the top of the sixth gave the Canes a sudden 10-7 cushion.

The defending champs found an answer, however. Arguello walked, Zaldivar was hit by pitch, and Montoya singled to load the bases with nobody out. Arguello scored on a wild pitch. Makayla Gonzales popped out to third, but then Zaldivar scored on a passed ball, and Montoya made it home as well for the tying run.

Parkinson singled, Monique Gonzales walked and Rebecca Trujillo reached on an error to load the bases for Mora. Mora sliced a shot to left field, and Parkinson was first to cross for the walk-off win.

La Plaza Majors baseball:
Reds 7, Blue Jays 0

Pitchers Josh Grano and Ethan Montaño combined to shut out a potent Blue Jays offense in the hottest part of a hot Saturday afternoon in La Plaza’s last game.
Montaño tripled to center and then scored on a Derek Gonzales RBI groundout for a 1-0 Reds lead in the bottom of the first inning.

After Francisco Lopez and Elijah Sanchez drew walks in the bottom of the second, the Blue Jays tried to pick off Lopez at third. But the play went awry, and both Reds runners scored on the error to make it 3-0.

Blue Jays pitcher Daniel Bustamante struck out the next two batters, but Montano turned a double into a score via error, and it was 4-0.

Justin Benavidez’s leadoff triple and his score on a wild pitch made it 5-0 through three frames.

In the bottom of the fourth, Montaño tripled, sliding into third to beat the throw. He scored on a passed ball. Gonzales and Joseph Lopez followed suit with singles, and Gonzales scored via wild pitch for a 7-0 lead before Bustamante struck out the last two batters to mitigate the damage.

In five of the six innings, the Blue Jays had base runners on only to see them left on base without scoring, as the Reds defense recorded timely outs.