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Brawley, Holtville, Imperial advance

June 21, 2002|By TIM YANNI , Sports Writer

SEELEY — It took an extra inning, but the Brawley Little League Padres managed to beat the Calexico Little League Expos 2-1 in their second-round District 22 inter-city major league tournament match at Sunbeam Lake here Wednesday.

"This is a huge win," said Brawley coach Tom Brittain. "It was a heck of a game."

Brawley's Anthony Brittain scored in the first inning thanks to costly errors on the Calexico centerfielder and first baseman. The Padres ran with the 1-0 lead until Expo Pedro Ramirez scored Allan Macedo with a sacrifice in the bottom of the sixth.

Brawley's Jesse Rosales scored in the top of the seventh. The game ended after Calexico couldn't convert in the bottom of the extra inning.

"Our defense came through tough," Tom Brittain said. "Our bats were asleep tonight, but our defense came through."

Brittain said he feels comfortable now that his team has two wins under its belt and said he is looking forward to the third round.

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"You always want to stay in the winners' bracket for as long as possible," Brittain said.

Brittain added he was impressed with the Calexico team and he thinks his squad was lucky to come away with the win.

"Calexico plays good defensive ball," Brittain said. "We knew we were going to be in for a good game."

Brittain said his team did not lose hope when Calexico tied the game.

"We knew if our defense could hold them, we could come back and score a run on them and that's what we did," Brittain said.

"We came in to win this thing, and the boys are still fired up," Brittain said. He added the day off today would allow for a well-deserved rest.

In other action, the Holtville Little League Braves used a six-run third inning to stomp the Sunbeam Little League Rangers 12-3 to advance to the third round in the winners' bracket.

Holtville's Gabriel Ahumada threw four strikeouts and gave up two hits while pitching the complete game.

Holtville coach Mike Wilcox said he was pleased with the outcome but said advancing to the third round means his team has to compete with "the big dogs."

"That's going to test our caliber right now," Wilcox said. "This was a good team effort."

Wilcox said he would like to see some improvement and error-free baseball to help the Braves advance through the tournament.

"We're going to need to play the best game that we've played all season," Wilcox said of his team's next game. "If we have a chance to win a game, it will have to be a low-scoring game."

Brawley and Holtville will face off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on field No. 1.

Tonight, Sunbeam will take on Imperial on field No. 1 while Calexico will face El Centro on field No. 3. Both games will start at 7:30.

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