Calexico edges Brawley 7-6

July 03, 2001|By TIM YANNI, Sports Writer

With one man on base in the top of the sixth inning, the Calexico 9-10-year-old Little League all-star team won 7-6 when one of its outfielders nabbed a fly ball by Brawley's Steven Gibson for the final out.

Calexico's starting pitcher, Armando Tapia, gave up three hits in the three innings he pitched. Two runs were scored off Tapia in the third inning when Dylan Mohamed scored on a bases-loaded walk and Jessie Rosales hit an RBI single to give Brawley a 2-1 lead.

Esau Madrigal had scored for Calexico in the first on a wild pitch.

In the bottom of the third inning, Calexico's offense came alive.

Trevor Robinson walked and was followed by Alonso Nuñez with a single. Oscar Sanchez got on base via an error and Robinson scored when Tapia hit a single with one out.

Nuñez scored on an error and Sanchez scored on a Luis Briseño base hit.


Briseño scored the final run of the inning reaching home on a Chris Garcia ground out to put Calexico up 6-2.

Over the next two innings, Calexico's defense worked like a well-oiled machine. Sanchez, who came in to pitch, took down all six batters in the fourth and fifth innings.

Aaron Aguirre, who came in to relieve Brawley's Andres Ponce in the fourth, walked Marcos Niebla before striking out Robinson and getting Madrigal to ground out.

Niebla scored on a wild pitch and extended the lead to 7-2.

After a scoreless fifth, Brawley's players turned their caps inside out and wore them as "rally caps" in the sixth.

Those rally caps seemed to help Brawley catch fire as Robby Rubio got on base by an error, Steven Limon cracked a single and Jessie Rosales was hit by a pitch.

A walk with bases loaded gained one run for Brawley before Chris Mendoza struck out swinging.

Mickey Velasco then smacked a three-RBI triple that pulled Brawley to within one.

Mohamed grounded out and Gibson flew out to end the game.

"It was a very competitive game," Calexico coach Gondola Roldon said. "Their team never gave up," he added.

"Oscar Sanchez did a really good job relieving," Roldon said.

He said his team managed to keep its composure in the sixth because the players focused on the next batter and not the runs that had scored.

"I have a lot of confidence in my team and I'm pretty sure we'll play well," Roldon said of his team's game tonight against Holtville.

Calexico assistant coach Ernie Acuña said that he was proud of the team as well.

"I had a lot of faith in these kids," Acuña said. "I knew they could pull it through."

Manager Poli Flores said he was relieved to top Brawley.

"Brawley always plays us tough," Flores said.

Flores said Calexico's defense and pitching are what keeps it a strong program.

In other Little League District 22 9-10-year-old all-star tournament action, El Centro topped Seaview 7-6 in seven innings and Holtville defeated Imperial 6-5.

Holtville will face Calexico at 7:30 tonight at the Little League field in El Centro in quarterfinal action.

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