Stockton’s grand slam delivers Yankees Little League title
For the second straight night the Yankees made the fifth and sixth innings theirs, rallying from four runs down Thursday to beat the Giants 9-6 for the South Tahoe National Little League major division title.
Randy Stockton belted a grand slam with on out in the sixth, capping the Yankees’ four-run final inning at Fred Rightmier Field. Stockton’s first homer of the season was just out of the reach of Giants’ outfielder Oliver Ortiz as it cleared the center-field fence.
“I was just thinking base hit,” Stockton said. “I didn’t think I would hit a grand slam.”
It was almost as if the Yankees embraced the pressure situations they faced in the double-elimination tournament.
“We always tell the kids when they get up in a big situation or there is a critical play in the game to be ready to make a big play,” said Yankees’ manager John Allen.
Allen said Ted Jackson, one of the team’s coaches, simulated the tense moments for the players in practice. “At the end of batting practice, he would tell them, ‘This is the bottom of the sixth and there are two out,’ when he pitched to them,” Allen said. “He prepared them for that situation, and nobody was nervous.”
Preceding Stockton’s walk-off homer were a pair of walks and a single to left by Ty Hutton.
When the Giants were forced to go to their bullpen with one out in the fifth, the Yankees capitalized. Giants’ ace Sergio Burgueno limited the Yankees to three hits entering the fifth but reached his pitch count maximum on the third batter of the inning. Stockton’s triple to right scored Noah Jackson, cutting the Giants’ lead to 6-3. Dakota Lynch, Wednesday night’s hero, greeted reliever Caleb Russell with an infield single, plating Stockton to pull the Yankees within 6-4. A couple of wild pitches sent Lynch to third, and he scored on Andru Aquino’s fielder’s choice.
After Dylan Gardner, the winning pitcher, retired the Giants in order in the top of the sixth, the Yankees produced another winning rally after the first hitter was called out on strikes.
Burgueno hit his 17th homer of the season to start a five-run Giants’ second inning. Hirshal Sukha and Keelin McBride also delivered RBI hits in the inning, and Ortiz and Burgueno each knocked in a run by walking with the bases loaded. Burgueno’s free pass was intentional. The Yankees took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on Lynch’s two-run double to center. Jackson and Hutton touched home plate on the two-bagger.
Giants are champs of AAA
There was no slowing down the Giants once they earned first AAA minors postseason victory.
The Giants survived five straight elimination games to capture the South Tahoe National Little League championship with a 13-2 rout of the Yankees on Thursday night.
Alexis Otis scattered eight hits over five innings to earn the victory. She struck out six and didn’t allow the Yankees to come up with many key hits.
The Giants staked Otis to a commanding lead from the start, scoring three runs in the first inning and six in the second. Five Giants’ hitters collected two hits: Nick Durham was 2 for 2 with three runs scored; Hayden Armstrong went 2 for 3 with two runs; Zen Contestable was 2 for 3; Matt Herring went 2 for 3 with a run scored; and Cameron McCarthy slugged two hits.
The Yankees received three hits off of the bat of Lex Merrifield and two from Kenny Clark.
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