The Dodgers' late rally on Monday in the second round of the Turlock National Little League Majors playoffs was not enough to overcome their four run deficit as the defending champion Rockies kept their cool in the final inning to close out the 7-5 victory and move on to the championship game Saturday at Soderquist field.
“That’s what I love about these guys; they're such a great group that they fight and never quit. We can be down runs at the end of the game and they always come back,” Rockies head coach Doug Grande said. “It’s the situation these guys have been in game after game going back to last year’s season, last year’s championship season, these guys have played in a lot of these games.”
In the top of the third, the Dodgers offense struck first with two runs after Jacob Williams drove in Tyler Stout and Ryan Tury to put them up by two. The third run came in the fourth when Seth Alvarado scored on a Jack Waterman RBI double.
The final two runs came in the sixth after Blake Barker drove in Williams after an RBI single. Tyson Weatherbee then drove in Barker with an RBI single for the fifth and final run after a rally left three batters on base to end the ball game.
“They gave a great effort, fought till the end. It was a great game,” Dodgers head coach Robert Tury said. “It has been an excellent year, and I could not be any more proud of my team.”
Stout started the game and pitched 4 1/3 innings and struck out 10 for the Dodgers. Alvarado came in to relief Stout in the fifth and tossed 1 2/3 allowing only one run.
Defending champion Rockies followed the Dodgers three unanswered runs with seven unanswered of their own. Garrett Estrada drove in Andres Grande and Marino Cabrero with an RBI double for the first two runs. Estrada followed scored the third run after stealing home. In the bottom of the fifth, Jaden Jackson hit a solo homerun for the fourth run. This was followed by an Andres Grande two-run homer that drove in Noah Baltisar. The final run for the Rockies came after Marino Cabrero scored on a wild pitch.
Garrett Estrada started the game for the Rockies and tossed 3 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and allowed only three runs. Ramon Grande came in to relieve Estrada and pitched 2/3 shutout innings. Andres Grande finished the game for the Rockies and tossed 1 2/3.
“I just love their mentality as far as their calm, their cool under pressure...you never know who is going to step it up, you never know,” Coach Grande said.
The Dodgers will face off against the Marlins at 6 p.m. Thursday at Soderquist field. The winner will then move on to the championship game on Saturday against the Rockies.