The Dodgers of the Turlock National Little League Majors have another shot at the top seeded Rockies, after defeating the Marlins, 12-5, in the semi-finals. The Dodgers nailed Thursday's win after a hot fifth inning rally that saw five runs scored.
“It was a do or die and we had to win to play on Saturday and I just told them to go out there and give it 110 percent effort. Marlins are a tough team. They played till the end and we had that huge bottom of the fifth inning where it seemed that everybody was hitting,” Dodgers head coach Robert Tury said. “We had some lucky breaks; balls went through and we kept scoring.”
In the bottom of the first inning, the Dodgers struck first after Tyler Stout came away with an RBI single to drive in Ryan Tury. The following inning, starting pitcher Seth Alvarado hit a solo home-run to deep center field with two outs to put the Dodgers up by two.
The Marlins tied the ball game in the top of the third after Houston Sims and Austin Allen each came away with an RBI. But the Dodgers quickly responded in the bottom half with another pair of runs when Stout led off with a triple and scored the third run after Holden Baldwin got an RBI sacrifice hit. Ronnie Martinez then pinch ran for Baldwin and scored the fourth run after Blake Barker hit a sac-fly to put the Dodgers up by two, 4-2.
After a pass ball from the catcher in the top of the fourth, Josh Hack scored from third for the Marlins, and cut the deficit by one run at 3-4, however, this was as close as they would get for the remainder of the game. In the bottom of the fourth, Jacob Williams came away with a two-run single for the Dodgers as he drove in Stout and Tury to put them up by 6-3. Baldwin scored the seventh run after getting walked on base. The final two runs for the Marlins came in the top of the fifth, when Jared Hack hit a two-run single to score Allen and Matt Lambert.
In the bottom of the fifth, a five run rally put the Marlins' hopes out of reach after the Dodgers came away with a blistering offense. Player of the game, Alvarado, cracked a two-run double to score Martinez and Gabriel Keeling to put the game away as the Dodgers scored three more runs to put the lead up by seven.
Alvarado pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed only three runs, struck out eight and tossed 86 pitches in the process.
“It’s a pretty good squad considering we were second to last place last year and the year before we were dead last, so to come back and finish in third place for the season and then win a playoff game on Monday and come back to get into the semifinals and I am very proud of my team,” Marlins head coach Joshua Gutierrez said. “They did a great job. I got a young team so a lot of them are coming back next year. It was a rebuilding season so to speak because we did better than what we thought we were going to do.”
Now, the Dodgers will face off against the Rockies in a win or go home game for them, however, because of the double elimination rule the Dodgers must defeat the Rockies twice and the Rockies must only win one to capture the title.
“We know the Rockies are a good hitting team and we need to match their pitching with our hitting and hopefully we can go out on top,” Tury said.