For the second consecutive season the Tigers, who are part of the American Little League majors, clinched the league title after a 5-2 win over the Yankees on Thursday afternoon at Julien Field.
Five runs in the first inning from the Tigers proved enough to cap the win behind a strong defensive and pitching performance from the top team in the American majors.
“Feels great, we beat a great team, the Yankees were very talented so we were just fortunate to win,” said Tigers head coach Steve Abrams.
“We knew we had an uphill battle ahead of us that’s for sure. The Tigers are stacked, their fundamental and so deep, it’s hard to get easy outs on them,” Yankees head coach Kurtis Carr said.
The story of the game was the impressive outing from Tigers starter, Howie Skinner, who managed to toss up a complete game (six innings) allowing only two earned runs and a single and a walk against the final 11 batters.
“I am also very proud of our pitcher, Howie. In my mind he was definitely the MVP of the game. He pitched great,” Abrams said.
Three home-runs in the bottom of the first inning capped off an impressive opening inning for the Tigers who took full advantage of the Yankees starting pitcher, Cameron Ward who started off a bit shaky for the regular season second place team.
The Yankees only runs came in the top of the second after Cooper Carr and Kaden Peterson each singled to lead off the inning, which was then followed by a Joe Mikkelson two-run double with one out.
“I was just hoping for the best in this game, but hats off to the Tigers, they are a real good team. All through the playoffs my team never gave up, we would always manage to scrape by any way we could just to win the games. I was proud of where we were and I was proud we got here,” Carr said.
Markie Delgadillo, Jake Abrams, and Silas Fredeen would be the Tiger sluggers who each tallied up a homerun, with the exception of Delgadillo’s opening two-run shot with no outs in the first.
Soon after, the Tigers were held scoreless for five innings, but with the pitching performance by Skinner, there was no need for any more runs.
Yankees starter, Ward, held the Tigers scoreless up until the bottom of the fourth with two outs after reaching the pitching limit.
“That was our only offense we put up all game in the first. We played great defense and so did they. My hat goes off to their pitching. They kept their composure after that first inning. They kept us at bay after that,” Abrams added.
Skinner was backed up by a defense that committed no errors.
The Tigers are now heading into the Tournament League of Champions tournament, which will begin on Monday, with the Tigers set to host a game at Julien field against an opponent yet to be named and the time yet to be determined. For more information visit turlockamericanlittleleague.com.