Jake Thompson didn’t get his first at-bat until the fourth inning, as he came into the game for his 10-to-12-year-old Tigers of the American League as a pinch-hitter. He made the wait worthwhile, slamming a shot to right-field to set up a firestorm of runs in the opening game of the Turlock Little League Majors City Tournament at Julien Field.
“Jake has been key for us all year,” Tigers coach Leon Curtis said. “He’s the one who started the whole mess there.”
“Mess” is a good word to use, as the Tigers pounded out six runs on three hits and two errors in the fourth to highlight a 12-2 win in five innings over the Diamondbacks of the National League on Monday evening in front of dozens of supporters. The Tigers, the No. 2 seed in the American League, will go up against the Pirates, the top seed in the National League, today at Julien Field at 5 p.m.
The other winners’ bracket game is between the No.1 Orioles of the American League and the No. 2 Dodgers of the National League at 7:30 p.m., also to be held at Juilen Field. The tournament winner will be determined on June 15.
In Wednesday’s game, the Tigers appeared unstoppable on offense. Clean-up batter Chris Steeley finished with four RBIs and two runs scored, Michael Govea scored three runs and Lucas Curtis got on base all four times, collected two RBIs and had one run scored.
On the mound, the Tigers used two pitchers in Govea and Clay Abrams, who combined for seven strikeouts and held the Diamondbacks to two runs and two hits.
Diamondbacks pitcher Nick Jones finished with 10 strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.
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