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Imperial El Centro kids advance

June 13, 2002|By TIM YANNI, Sports Writer

SEELEY— The Imperial Little League Padres bounced back from a 5-1 second-inning deficit to beat the Seaview Little League Dodgers 13-6 here Wednesday.

Imperial advanced in the losers' bracket of the District 22 inter-city minor league tournament. Brawley beat Imperial in the opening round of the double-elimination tourney.

"Our backs were against the wall," said Padre coach Alvaro Ortega of losing the first game of the tournament. "The kids had to come out and play, and they played hard."

Ortega said the victory was the result of a good all-around effort from the entire Padre squad.

"Michael Antunez pitched five strong innings," Ortega said. "All the kids' bats came alive."

Ortega said error-free baseball helped his team through Wednesday's game and he is looking forward to the next round.

"We're still here for tomorrow," Ortega said. "That's what this tournament is all about.

"The kids have worked hard all season," he said. "The parents have been real supportive."


Ortega added he was impressed with Seaview's coaching and he commended the play of the Dodgers' girls.

"They had a lot of girls who can play good baseball," Ortega said.

One such Dodger, Vanessa Frutos, hit a two-run triple in the second inning and scored on an error by the Padre catcher to give Seaview a 5-1 lead.

"They've got some good teams in this tournament," Ortega said.

In other action, the El Centro Orioles topped the Sunbeam Padres 10-3 after breaking a 1-1 tie in the fifth.

"I knew that we had it in us," El Centro coach Albert Zavala said. "They did a good job."

El Centro pitcher Jonathan Adams struck out 16 Sunbeam batters while his brother Nate went 3-for-3, all triples.

"We're just taking it a game at a time," Zavala said.

El Centro and Imperial will face off at 7:30 tonight on field No. 3 in the fourth round on the losers' bracket.

El Centro was beaten in the opening round by the Calexico Indians.

"I'm hoping we'll just come out tomorrow and do our best," Zavala said. "Every day we're out here is a joy."

Zavala, who said he plans to pitch Nate Adams tonight, said he expects big things from his team.

"I know they have it in them to win," Zavala said. "We're expecting a big game out of (Nate Adams)."

Ortega said he'd like to see his Imperial squad play hard and aggressively tonight and said he will remind his players every pitch and every out counts.

"We've got a good team," Ortega said. "I hope the players can get some fan support. We'll try not to disappoint them."

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