Giants advance to South Tahoe Little League finals
There was little that the Giants did wrong in a South Tahoe National Little League playoff game Saturday afternoon.
They sprayed out nine hits in six innings. They didn’t throw the ball around like Little League teams often do, playing seven innings without an error. Their starting pitcher Sergio Burgueno, threw a gem, striking out 12 while walking just one.
With so many parts of the game in working order there was no stopping the Giants in a 9-1 victory over the Yankees that propelled them into the championship game for the second straight year.
“It was great. It’s the way it’s been going all year long,” said Giants’ skipper Bob Ritchey. “All of the kids have been coming through, making big hits, and we’ve had good pitching and good defense.”
Only the weather slowed down the Giants on this chilly day. A hailstorm delayed the game 15 minutes in the top of the fifth inning. Eventually the clouds broke long enough for the teams to complete the final two innings.
Burgueno set the tone in the first inning. After retiring the Yankees in order in the top of the first, he made the Yankees pay for pitching to him for the only time in the bottom of the inning. After swinging and missing at Dakota Lynch’s first pitch, Burgueno hit an opposite-field homer to right for a 1-0 lead. It was Burgueno’s 16th homer of the season – one of the highest home run totals in league history.
The Giants made it 2-0 in the second when Andrew Herrera’s double scored Hirshal Sukha, who had singled.and advanced to second on a passed ball.
Mike Ritchey’s triple to right triggered a two-run third inning. Kolby Eymann’s sacrifice fly to shallow center was deep enough to send Ritchey home. Burgueno, who was intentionally walked for the first of two times, stole second base and scored on Jordon Switzer’s groundout, making the score 4-0.
Burgueno, who retired 10 of the first 11 Yankee hitters he faced, ran into a bit of trouble in the fourth inning. Randy Stockton hit a one-out single, then scored on Lynch’s double to right. Burgueno avoided further damage with a two-out strikeout.
The GIants put the Yankees in a deeper hole by scoring five times in the bottom of the inning. Brandon Root delivered a run-scoring double while Caleb Russell, Ritchey and Eymann slugged RBI base hits.
The Yankees put two runners on with no one out in the fifth, but Burgueno used a popup to Eymann and two strikeouts to escape the jam.
The Giants will meet the Yankees in the finals at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“We want our revenge,” Eymann said. “Last year, we didn’t get it; this year, it’s ours.”
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