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August 2, 2011 > D45 Big League run ends

D45 Big League run ends

By Giovanni Albanese Jr.

It had been a magical run for the District 45 (Union City and Hayward area) Little League Baseball's Big League all-star club. Throughout the run, D45 hadn't lost a match, culminating with its 2-1 win over Southern California to win the Western Regional tournament and advance to the Big League World Series in Easley, S.C.. But in consecutive days from Wednesday, July 27, through Friday, July 29, D45 took three losses and were eliminated from contention.

They opened up their quest for a world championship against the Southwest representative from Ruston, La. Southwest got on top 1-0 in the third inning with a Jacob Stockton RBI single off Brandon Yau, scoring Jared Lupo. D45 quickly responded with two runs in the top of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. With Pascual Flores and Rafael Delgadillo on the base paths, Jalen Thayne-Hallman ripped a double to center off Southwest starter Jared Dye, scoring both runners.

In the back-and-forth affair, Southwest took the lead back with two of their own in the bottom of the fifth. With the bases loaded, Stockton knocked in two more with a sharp single to left off Yau, plating Eric Goree and Lupo for a 3-2 advantage. Yau buckled down to get out of the inning without further damage. Flores smashed a homer in the top of the sixth to knot the game up at 3.

Flores would play a major part in the outcome of the match. He took the hill in the bottom of the seventh hoping to send the game into extras with the score still tied. Clade Thomason battled Flores for a walk to lead off the inning. Stockton was up next and got beaned to put runners on first and second (Landon Crane pinch ran for Thomason). Goree then chopped an infield single to third, putting runners at each base. Sloan Dieter came up and, like Goree, chopped one to third. Kenny Chavez, however, was unable to field it cleanly, allowing the winning run to score for Southwest.

Flores was tagged with the loss. Yau, the starter, went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out seven and walking six. Flores was the leading hitter for D45 on the day, going 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.

On Thursday, July 28, it was an East Coast-West Coast duel, and a slugfest at that. But East representative from Cumberland, N.J., pulled out the one-run victory in the end, 12-11. It didn't look as if East had a shot after West was done putting a seven-spot up in the top of the first. D45 sent 11 men to the plate tagging starter Darren Fischer for all seven runs on just two hits with the help of four walks and a couple errors.

Thayne-Hallman scored when East catcher Chet Godfrey committed an error. Alex Abeyta scored D45's second run after Brandon Yau reached after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Andrew Tamaru then walked, scoring Mark Engler. Joe Armstrong scored on another Godfrey error, then Yau came across on a Chavez sac fly. Thayne-Hallman drove in Tamaru with a single to center. And D45's last run came across on an Elijah Carter (who came on for Fischer) wild pitch.

However, despite the 7-0 lead, West was never comfortable. East came up against Luke Lederman and plated four of their own on one hit, four walks and two errors. Only Godfrey had an RBI hit for East in their four-run frame.

D45 added to its lead with a run in the fourth on an Armstrong sac fly, plating Abeyta. It was in the bottom of the fourth when East took control of the game. In that frame, the New Jersey club plated eight runs, one off Lederman, six off Dillion Pereira and one off Thayne-Hallman. In Pereira's outing, he didn't record an out while East caught up and surpassed D45 on the scoreboard while getting tagged with the loss. Thayne-Hallman shut down East and went the final 2 2/3 innings. Lederman went 3 1/3, allowing seven runs (four earned) on two hits while striking out three and walking six.

After a Flores RBI double scoring Dylan Lacombe in the fifth, D45 made it interesting in the seventh. Trailing 12-9 going into the inning, D45 plated a pair of runs and had runners on second and third for Engler, but he grounded out to second to end the game. Abeyta had an RBI single and Delgadillo scored on an error to give the West its runs before coming up short.

And on Friday, needing a win to stay alive in the United States' pool, West was eliminated from contention with a 6-4 loss to Central representative from Michigan.

Like the day before, West got on top in the first, this time just a single run on an Armstrong RBI double plating Thayne-Hallman. But as was the care against East, D45 and starter Armstrong blew that lead. After two straight wild pitches by Armstrong put a pair of runners in scoring position, Ed Grochowalski racked a two-run double scoring Ryan Elble and Grant Van Putten for the 2-1 lead. In the fourth, both teams puyt a run across -- Flores sac fly; Travis Kraai RBI single -- but Central added to their lead with a run in the fifth and two in the sixth.

Armstrong pitched a complete game, going six innings, allowing six runs on seven hits while striking out and walking four. He had a chance to put his club in front in the seventh, coming up with the bases loaded and two outs, but flied out to left to end the game. Pereira drove in Flores to make it 6-3 earlier in the inning, and Edwin Alvarenga walked, forcing home Pereira to make it 6-4 before Armstrong's at bat.

D45 finished off its World Series experience on Monday, Aug. 1, against Southeast representative from South Carolina. Score for the game was unavailable at press. To find out the score to D45's final game, and the remaining schedule for the Big League World Series, log onto the TCV Sports website,

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