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Calexico falls to South Bay

July 25, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

IMPERIAL BEACH — At the end of the Little League 9-10-year-old Section 8 tournament, a person might have trouble telling that the Calexico all-stars had just lost their shot at a section championship.

But hidden behind smiles during the awards ceremony were the broken hearts of Calexico's best, who had just lost 2-0 to the South Bay all-stars from Chula Vista at Sports Park here Tuesday.

For some just getting to the championship might have been an accomplishment, but for the players who knew they were good enough to beat South Bay, it was a disappointment.

"I think we could've beat them," said Calexico third baseman Trevor Robinson. "We did a lot of work during the tournament and coming into this game I was pretty confident about how we'd do."

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The confidence the players had entering the game was surprising considering the 10-1 hammering handed to them by South Bay in the first round of the tournament.

But Calexico manager Gonzalo Roldan said the first game never played a factor in the championship matchup.

"After that first loss we never lost our confidence," said Roldan. "We came into this game expecting a really hard game, but we didn't expect the same thing to happen."

As Roldan had figured, history didn't repeat. Where in the first game offense dominated, it was pitching of both squads that was the difference in the final contest.

Both team's starting pitchers, Calexico's Esau Madrigal and Southbay's Adam Tolbert, pitched complete games and neither allowed an earned run. The two runs scored by South Bay came off Calexico errors in the first and fourth innings.

"You have to give Calexico's pitcher credit. We had been averaging about nine runs a game in this tournament and he shut us down," said South Bay manager Bob Osuna, whose team advances to the regional tournament in San Bernardino. "We knew that they were going to come out and play. And they showed that they really wanted to beat us. Calexico's a good team. They made some really good defensive plays and played us tough."

Madrigal struck out four and scattered seven hits and picked up one of his team's four hits.

Tolbert struck out 11 gave up four hits and scored his team's first run. Teammate Chris Osuna scored the other South Bay run.

Recording the other hits for Calexico were Oscar Sanchez, Alonso Nuñez and Chris Garcia.

While many Calexico players were disappointed with the outcome, the 9-year-old all-stars said they would use the experience as a stepping stone.

"I'm already looking forward to next year," said Jeremy Roldan. "We didn't really know what to expect in this tournament, but now we know. I think next year we'll have more confidence and we'll be better prepared for this tournament."

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