IMPERIAL — The Calexico 14-15-year-old Babe Ruth team fought off an Imperial comeback in the top of the seventh inning to come away with a 5-4 win to advance to the District 7 championship game.
"They wanted it," said Calexico coach Jose Niebla. "It was all heart."
That "heart" was evident in the top of the fifth when right fielder Oscar Cardinas made a difficult running catch on a fly ball that likely would have scored two Imperial runs had it been fair.
Instead, his catch helped Calexico go into the bottom of the inning with the score tied at 1-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, Henry Valdez doubled to score George Rodriguez for the tie breaker, and Emmanuel Herrero scored on a Bobby Mendoza sacrifice bunt to put Calexico up 3-1.
Valdez would then score on a Joey Niebla single.
Imperial started its comeback in the top of the seventh when Eddie Martinez stepped up to the plate with two outs, with Tom Whitehead on second and Jonathan Giurbino on first.