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Little League playoffs: Imperial rolls past Holtville into finals

July 13, 2001|By TIM YANNI, Sports Writer

SEELEY — In a game that saw 34 walks, the Imperial 11-12-year-old Little League all-star team topped Holtville 21-10 here Thursday to remain undefeated in the District 22 tournament.

"It was a sloppy game but we were glad to come away with the win," said Imperial coach Alfred Moore. "Both sides were struggling."

Imperial struggled first as pitcher Daniel Deen walked four consecutive Holtville batters to begin the bottom of the first inning before Russell Havens came in to relieve him.

Havens walked three more batters to help Holtville build a 4-0 lead.

Imperial answered in the top of the second. Holtville's Javier Fregoso walked six batters and gave up a single as Imperial tied the game at 4-4.

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Imperial used a rally in the fourth inning to take the lead for good. Gabriel Item hit a single and was then driven in by a Brock Moore triple to get the rally started.

Brock Moore then stole home and Daniel Deen was driven in by Valentin Gonzalez's triple to put Imperial up 7-4.

A second rally in the fifth saw Spencer Drury reach base with a double and Item follow with a single. Each would score on wild pitches to put Imperial up 9-4.

The bleeding continued for Holtville in the fifth as Brock Moore and Michael Nisperos were walked and Deen and Clifford Benson were hit with Roberto Padilla pitches before Holtville sent in Eddie Silva to relieve.

Brock Moore was thrown out at first base when he attempted to steal second, but Nisperos scored on an error to increase the lead to 10-4.

Victor Martinez would clear the bases with a three-run triple and Imperial led 13-4 going into the bottom of the fifth.

To finish Holtville off, Imperial used a final rally in the top of the sixth.

Leading 13-9, Drury walked and Item and Brock Moore reached base on errors to load the bases.

Nisperos drove in Item with a double and Deen was hit by a Silva pitch to load the bases again.

Benson drove in Brock Moore with a single, Nisperos scored on an error and Jeff Cabrera drove in Deen with a sacrifice fly to put Imperial up 17-9.

Martinez walked and Havens drove in two runs with a double as Imperial built a 19-9 lead.

Havens was driven in by Item when his ball bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double.

Holtville, which had managed to score five runs in the bottom of the fifth, couldn't come close to the 12-run deficit it now faced.

Adam Anderholt walked and, with two outs, Gabriel Ahumada managed to drive in Anderholt with Holtville's final run, but James Bently struck out to end the game.

Alfred Moore said when his team was down, he reminded his players they had been in similar situations before and found their way out.

He added he is going to take a day off with his team before getting ready for the championship game Monday.

"We're going to try to stay sharp and see who comes out of the loser's bracket," Alfred Moore said. "We felt that we could be in this position when we began this tournament."

In other District 22 action, Daniel Flores hit a home run in the first inning and Jonathan Arellano hit a grand slam in the second as Calexico topped Sunbeam 8-4.

Adam Duran hit a home run in the first inning that turned out to be the deciding score as Brawley defeated El Centro 5-4.

Brawley will face Calexico at 7:30 tonight in Seeley in a quarterfinal match-up.

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