A walk is as good as a hit in minors championship
Nancy Sinatra sang a hit song about walking shoes in 1966.
While every player on both the New York Pizza A’s and the Garratt Corp. Braves weren’t born yet, almost all of them had their walking shoes on in the South Tahoe Little League Minor Division championship game Saturday.
In a contest that featured 25 free passes, the A’s emerged victorious, 14-10.
The A’s used big innings to open and close the game to secure the title. In the bottom of the fifth inning with the A’s trailing 9-6, 10 batters came to the plate and six of them circled the infield and scored.
Ben Calkins opened the inning with a walk, followed by two more to load the bases before Jake Miller hit a sacrifice fly to score Calkins.
The next batter, Kit Harland, took one for the team – off the helmet – to force in another run.
“I wanted to swing, but it hit me instead,” Harland said.
Two more walks forced in a pair of runs, extending the lead to 14-9.
In the top of the sixth, the Braves rallied with a leadoff double by Dayn Gorevan, who stole third base to move 90 feet from home.
Chris Williams drew a walk to put runners on first and third with no outs. Mike Burns laced a single to left, scoring Gorevan, but Harland fielded the ball and fired home to nail Williams at the plate for the first out and essentially kill the Brave rally.
“I just wanted to throw home and get the first out,” Harland said.
The A’s recorded the next two outs to end the game.
The game was a lot closer than it appeared at the end of the first inning.
The A’s opened the contest with six runs. Calkins opened with a free pass and scored on a Matt Marshe double. James Morrison walked and Miller knocked them both in with a single. Harland followed with a walk before Kyle Garratt hit into a fielder’s choice to drive home Miller.
Harland, Garratt and Shaun Malloy all scored in the inning to extend the lead to 6-0.
“I knew it wasn’t going to blow out because we did the same thing against the Giants and only won by a run,” A’s manager Kevin Malloy said.
The Braves cut the lead to 6-2 in the bottom of the inning as Gorevan doubled to drive in John Betts.
But it was the fourth inning where the Braves made it a game, tying the score at 6.
Dayne Carmichael opened with a walk ahead of a Chris Heng single. Jack Garratt followed with a walk to load the bases for Betts, who drove in a run with a walk.
Amy Rennison followed with another walk to force in another run before Gorevan laced a single to drive in a pair of runs.
The Braves added three more runs in the fifth to take a 9-6 lead before the A’s mounted their comeback.
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