It was a busy day at Pedretti Park on Wednesday night. A pair of City Championship games were held for the Turlock Junior and Senior Little League.
In the opening game, the 13-14-year-old Junior American Red Sox defeated the National Diamondbacks 6-0 behind the pitching of Denair High sophomore Chris Waldon, who left the mound to a nice ovation from spectators after coach Roy Alsup was forced to pull his starter out due to the pitch limit.
Waldon had only given up an infield single entering the seventh inning. In that frame, he surrendered a leadoff walk and back-to-back singles to load the bases. He struck two batters out in the inning before Eric Garibay relieved him and got the final out to save the shutout and clinch the city title.
“People told me that they thought this was the greatest game they’d ever seen me pitch,” said Waldon. “I just tried my hardest and things just happened for me.”
The leadoff hitting first baseman Garibay did exactly what a leadoff hitter is supposed to do — get on base. He hit safely in all four of his at bats, including an RBI double in the top of the seventh. He and third baseman Blade Moore combined to score four of the Red Sox's six runs.
“I knew I just needed to make contact and get on base to help my teammates out,” said Garibay, who was part of a team that lost to the same Diamondbacks in the city championship game a year ago.
The Red Sox (9-5 coming into Wednesday’s game) avenged a loss to the Diamondbacks a week earlier.
“These are great, talented kids,” said Red Sox manager Paul Minear. “I hardly have to teach them much. I learn from them.”
The Red Sox scored first in the third inning when Moore was brought home on a Blake Cederlind single. They plated two more in the following inning when Chandler Calloway knocked in a run and scored when Victor Castro walked and tried to immediately steal second on a decoy play allowing Calloway to safely make it home.
Along with the win and a new trophy, Alsup was also the recipient of a brisk water-cooler shower from a few of his players after the game.