A’s win South Tahoe Babe Ruth championship, beat Angels 14-2 in winner-take-all title game
South Tahoe Babe Ruth playoffs
June 21-24 at Todd Fields Park
Tuesday, June 21
(1) A’s, bye
(3) Angels def. (2) Giants
(5) Dodgers def. (4) Mariners
Wednesday, June 22
Winner’s bracket: A’s def. Dodgers
Giants def. Mariners (Mariners eliminated)
Thursday, June 23
Winner’s bracket: A’s def. Angels
Dodgers def. Giants (Giants eliminated)
Friday, June 24
Angels 15, Dodgers 5 (Dodgers eliminated)
Angels 11, A’s 6
A’s 14, Angels 2
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — In the South Tahoe Babe Ruth baseball league, the top seed ultimately took home the prize. The A’s beat the third-seeded Angels 14-2 in a winner-take-all championship game Friday night, June 24, at Todd Fields Park, after finishing the regular season as the league’s best team.
“I’m happy the kids achieved it,” A’s manager Tyler Cannon said. “I had one of those teams where you just love all the kids on the team, so it was an easy season for me. I think we had a lot of fun, and that was the most important thing.”
Under the lights, the A’s started fast to beat the Angels 14-2 in five innings. The top seed broke the game open with a six-run second inning and rode a strong pitching performance from starter Jose Burgueno to outlast the Angels, who were playing in their third elimination game of the day.
“We knew they were going to be tired the whole time, so we took advantage of it,” Burgueno said. “We got hyped and we started grounding balls easily.”
The A’s jumped out to a two-run lead in the first, then took command of the contest with a six-run bottom of the second against Angels starter Tyler Wattanachinda. The top seed sent 11 batters to the plate on the way to building an 8-0 advantage — including two-run doubles from Jaxon Kennedy and Dan Hibler.
“Opening up with a couple big hits always helps — we put a couple runs on the plate and that rattled them,” Tyler Cannon said. “They brought in two of their toughest pitchers, and we scored 14 runs against them.”
The Angels got on the board with a pair of runs in the top of the third, then the A’s answered with three runs on an error and two passed balls to make it 11-2. The A’s added three more in the bottom of the fourth — including run-scoring hits from Burgueno and Tucker Cannon — and kept the Angels off the board to end the game via the 10-run rule.
“We just had to put our heads in for the second game,” Burgueno said. “We stuck together, had good teamwork and defense, and took it all the way. It was just a whole team effort.”
Burgueno threw 5.0 innings, allowing two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and seven walks. The right-hander didn’t have his best stuff in the decisive championship game, but kept the Angels off balance en route to victory.
“I tried throwing all the strikes I could,” Burgueno said. “It was hard finding my strike zone. I had to trust my defense more and let them make the plays for me.”
A’s leadoff hitter Chris Pfister collected half of the team’s eight hits in the victory, finishing 4-for-4 with two doubles and three runs. Kennedy went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and three runs, Tucker Cannon was 1-for-3 with an RBI and two runs, and Hibler finished 1-for-3 with a two-run double.
“It’s a team of all-stars — every kid on this team hustled, every kid contributed and he knew his role,” Tyler Cannon said. “They deserved it.”
For the Angels, Kyle Dane went 2-for-2 with a double and a run while Jaden Aquino finished 2-for-2 with a run. The third seed forced the winner-take all game with an 11-6 win over the A’s earlier in the night — after beating the fifth-seeded Dodgers 15-5 on Friday afternoon.
The A’s went 3-1 in the Babe Ruth postseason, which featured four straight days of baseball starting Tuesday, June 21. The champions ultimately finished 12-3 in the five-team league.
“It was a long season from the draft on through and it’s a great feeling,” Tyler Cannon said. “We had great battles and great games with these guys all season long.”