Entering the fifth inning, the Orioles weren’t in panic mode despite what the scoreboard at Julien Field told them late Tuesday night. They needed to conquer a three-run deficit, with just two full innings left.
They answered the challenge, never looking back.
The Orioles supplied eight of their 10 runs in the fifth inning before the first out to an eventual 13-3 win over the Tigers — a fellow American League team — to overcome a 3-0 deficit and capture the Major League City Championship of the Turlock Little League in front of two packed stands of supporters.
It also marked back-to-back titles for the Orioles, who boasted a handful of returners mixed together with seven rookies.
“Our coaching staff thought it was a total team effort,” said Randy Fareria, one of two assistants — the other being Justin Palmer — under manager Nick Pryschuk.
In their four city tournament wins, the Orioles had to do it in comeback fashion every time. On late Tuesday night, Tigers slugger Michael Govea slammed a two-run homer in the third to give his team a 3-0 lead and provide a little scare for the Orioles, who was looking for someone to ignite a rally.
That person turned out to be the entire Orioles squad, highlighted by six players finishing with an RBI in the fifth. After the game was tied, Jared Raposa connected on an RBI single to give the Orioles a 4-3 lead. From then on, his team looked unstoppable. A couple batters later, Daniel Fareria cleared the bases with a three-run double.
“Our main focus was to play for six innings,” said Coach Fareria. “And sooner or later, stuff will happen to us where positive results would occur. We always tell our kids to put the ball in play and we always focused on situational hitting. If we have a guy on third, hit to the right side.”
The Orioles did a lot of that in the fifth, with Antonio Reyes also collecting an RBI-double. Some finished with multiple hits, as Mitchell Pryschuk had three of his team’s nine hits.
The Orioles pitching was also big in the win, as Damon Treadwell struck out 10 batters in 5 1/3 innings before he reached his 85-pitch limit and was replaced by Tristan Palmer.
“When you have those two guys pitching,” Coach Fareria said, “you’re almost guaranteed to be right in the game. We gave up a few runs all year long and it was because of them and our defense.”
Treadwell was confident that his Orioles would come back against a team like the Tigers, who, under coach Leon Curtis, had to fight back through the consolation bracket after losing to the Orioles in the winner’s bracket semifinals. Treadwell was a part of an Orioles team that had to come back and win in each game.
“It started with one hit,” said Treadwell, who had a walk-off two-run homer to beat the Tigers the first time in a 2-1 triumph. “That got us energized and it led the whole team. We felt like we’d score more runs, and we did.”
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