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Brawley Padres beat the Holtville Braves 10-3 in the District 22 major league inter-city tournament

June 30, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

SUNBEAM LAKE — When the Brawley Padres Little League team lost 8-7 to the Holtville Braves in a District 22 inter-city major league tournament game last week, some of the Padres felt the loss was nothing more than an aberration.

In the championship game here Friday, Brawley proved the previous loss a fluke as it pounded Holtville 10-3 to claim the District 22 inter-city major league crown.

"That earlier loss to Holtville, we felt we gave that to them. We just had one of those bad games against them. But we came back and played the way we're capable of," said Padre manager Tom Brittain. "Everyone from top to bottom played a part in this win for us. Everything — defense, pitching, hitting — it was all just clicking for us. Even though we lost to them before, I think we showed that we were the better team."

Other than a three-run sixth inning by the Braves, Brawley had its way with Holtville by limiting it to only five hits through the first five innings and allowing no runs.

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Offensively, the Padre bats produced runs in four of six innings, scoring three runs in three separate frames. Brawley also had batters reach base safely 18 times on hits, errors and fielder's choices.

Already holding a 7-0 lead, Padres Justin Tamayo put the game away for good in the top of the sixth inning with a two-run home run over the left-field fence.

"I had been wanting to hit a home run all year, I came close a few times, but I never got one," said Tamayo. "Then today, I got that one in the last game of the season. When I hit, I knew I got it; it was just right there. I think that home run was really big for the team."

Tamayo wasn't the only one who hit a home run. Holtville's Jon Gallegos took Brawley pitcher Josh Steimel deep in the bottom of the sixth, also connecting on a two-run bomb over left field.

Other than that home run, Steimel held his own on the mound for the Padres, throwing a complete game, giving up six hits and striking out three.

"Everyone came through on defense and hitting. Everything was just working for us," said Steimel. "You look at that first game we played them and we just didn't play Brawley baseball. But tonight we showed that we're a much better team."

Offensively, Steimel finished with an RBI and a run. Robby Rubio was 2-for-3 for Brawley with two RBI.

Travis Wilcox took the loss on the mound for Holtville, pitching a complete game, striking out six.

Said Holtville manager Mike Wilcox: "I felt we matched them hit for hit; it's just that our defense wasn't there. It was just a frustrating loss. Brawley's a solid team, but I won't say they're a better team than us."

The Padres finished the tournament with a 5-1 record, including two wins over Holtville. The Braves ended 3-2.

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