Pirates win Little League title
It wasn’t a typical South Tahoe Little League final.
The customary pitching duel never materialized and the fans’ afternoon plans were delayed, if not canceled. In one of the wildest major division finals in recent years, the Sierra Ready Mix Pirates outslugged the PIP Printing A’s 17-13.
“We’re just a real strong hitting team. We don’t have a weak link in the our lineup,” said Pirates’ first-year manager Michael Greenstein. “The kids have had a great attitude and a winning feeling from the onset of the season.”
After falling behind 3-0 in the first frame, the Pirates sent 16 batters to the plate during a game-turning 11-run second inning. Since the A’s exhausted ace Ben Troglia’s pitching eligibility in a 5-0 semifinal win over the Reds on Thursday, Tyson Frederick had the mound to himself Saturday. The A’s used three other pitchers during the regular season but only for a few innings.
“Their pitching is spectacular, so we talked about getting Tyson to throw 50 pitches and getting his arm tired. We knew they had no other pitcher to throw in there. It was the chink in their armor,” Greenstein said.
Eight hits, five errors and four walks contributed to the inning that seemingly wouldn’t end.
“I sort of wanted to come out because I was walking them, and the ones I got over the plate they hit or we had errors in the field,” Frederick said.
Winning pitcher Garrett McIntyre’s two-run triple punctuated the high-scoring second.
“He slowed down just a little. And we’re better at hitting 50 mph pitches,” Ry Greenstein said.
Besides McIntyre’s base-clearer, timely two-run singles were struck by Jake Wyler, Adam Fountain and Dan Lucero. Justin Sielsch had two hits and scored twice in the inning.
“Give the Pirates credit, they hit our pitching,” said A’s manager Ernie Frederick, who will coach the South Tahoe Major All-Stars July 14-22 in Carson City. “Tyson probably threw about 120 pitches. He’s thrown that twice before this year, and that’s probably pushing it for a 12-year-old. But we’ve never had a problem with (Tyson’s and Ben’s) arms because of their conditioning (since) they’re strong and wiry and they take good care of themselves.”
Facing an eight-run deficit, the A’s did what good teams do – patiently chip away. Troglia’s two-run double highlighted a four-run second inning, and the A’s pulled to within 11-10 on Jake Summers’ clutch two-run double during a three-run third.
However, the Pirates recaptured the momentum in the fourth inning, scoring four runs without the benefit of a hit. Three walks and three errors gave the Pirates a 15-10 edge.
Meanwhile, reliever McIntyre toned down the chuck-and-duck action with two scoreless innings. Considering McIntyre had thrown only 10 innings during the season, the sidearm hurler’s performance was a pleasant surprise to some.
“He was our X factor. Garrett had been wild, but today he was right on,” Michael Greenstein said.
Added McIntyre, “I felt comfortable out there and knew I could pitch it.”
Nick Lefteroff’s groundout upped the lead to six in the fifth and Lucero’s fourth hit of the game, an RBI single, gave the Pirates a 17-10 lead.
“I was looking for him to throw it right down the middle,” said Lucero, tipping off the secret to his four singles and three RBIs off Frederick.
But the A’s didn’t go away quietly in their last at-bat. Travis Purdy, Troglia and Anthony Case reached base to start the sixth. Case plated Purdy with a single, and Troglia and Case came around to score on errors, making the score 17-13. But McIntyre settled down, using a strikeout, line out and pop-up to John Walker to end the threat and secure the title.
“I just caught it and then I got attacked,” said Walker, as he and his teammates pitched their gloves in the air and hugged one another.
On the other side, Frederick wasn’t letting his persistent club feel like losers.
“Believe me, we never thought we’d get this far. They’re fighters. As bad as we played we still came back and played them tough. But the errors killed us.”
Wyler and Sielsch had two of the Pirates’ 13 hits. Case and Tyson Frederick led the A’s with two hits.
The Pirates made it 2 for 2 in championships as a 10-run fourth inning stood up in an exciting 12-11 victory over the Rockies.
Trailing 3-1 in the fourth inning, the Pirates found their batting eyes. Kyle Sullivan’s two-run double and Troy Radke’s two-run single got the inning rolling and J.J. DeLallo, Brian Vogt and David Clemensen chipped in RBI hits.
But the Rockies battled back, scoring eight runs in the fifth inning. Buck Pershing’s two-run three-bagger fueled the comeback. But DeLallo set the Rockies down in order in the sixth inning, including fanning the final batter.
Vogt led an active Pirate lineup with a double and two singles. Also contributing with the bat were Clemensen, two doubles; DeLallo, triple and double; and Martin Rubio, two hits. Ben Goldenberg’s three hits topped the Rockies and Pershing delivered two more.
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