by Bradey King
After a close battle in pool play on Saturday, Big West Elite Baseball (San Clemente, CA) and Triple Play (Bakersfield, CA) faced off for a second time in the 10u Division 1 championship game at the Arizona Spring Championships.
West won the pool play game, and more significantly, also nabbed the 6-5 victory in the 10u final.
“We definitely had a lot more confidence knowing we had beat them the day before,” said head coach Pac Gutierrez.
Triple Play put two runs on the board in the first inning, but West quickly matched that in the bottom half by drawing three walks and stringing together a few timely hits to take the lead 4-2 and force a pitching change.
West kept the momentum rolling into the second inning as Noah Wineski smashed a line drive to the left-center fence for an RBI.
In the top of the third inning, Triple Play took advantage of an infield error, a dropped third strike and a passed ball to plate one, making the score 5-3. West responded once again in the bottom of the fourth with back-to-back singles and another RBI rip from Wineski.
Just when the game seemed to be leaning in West’s favor, Triple Play put up a huge fifth inning to tie it up, 6-all. Not for long, though, as a one-out double followed up by an RBI single from Corwin Allard sealed the deal.
If there was an MVP award to give out, it certainly would have gone to Allard. He threw five solid innings while striking out five batters. In addition, he had an outstanding offensive performance going 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBI, one of those being the game-winner.
“I feel very confident on the mound. Every single inning my teammates score, I’m like okay, there’s another run to back me up,” said Allard.
West cruised through the last inning to hold off Triple Play and take home the hardware. Parker Bruggerman was all smiles as he ran in from left field to celebrate with his teammates after catching the fly ball for the third out.
“It felt really good to get the last out of the game, and I feel pretty confident we’re gonna win a lot this season,” said Bruggerman.
Coach Gutierrez agreed and applauded his team for their consistent energy the entire tournament.
“Between every inning I tell them to play as a family, stay loud, have good energy and good things will happen,” added Gutierrez.
Here are the other division winners for Session 2 of the Arizona Spring Championships:
9u -- SoCal Wolves (Mission Hills, CA)
11u D1 -- Twelve Black (Katy, TX)
11u D2 -- NorCal Prospects (Danville, CA)
12u -- Dugout Glory (Kilgore, TX)
13u D1 -- OC Tribe (Laguna Niguel, CA)
13u D2 -- Heat Baseball (San Jose, CA)
14u D1 -- South Bay Hustle (South Bay, CA)
14u D2 -- Desert Bandits (Phoenix, AZ)