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Tigers win American title, face Rockies in City Championship
The Tigers squad stands tall after defeating the Indians to take the American Little League title. - photo by Photo Contributed

The Tigers have won the Turlock American Little League Majors title after lighting up the scoreboard against the Indians, 22-10, at Julien field in a game that started on Tuesday night and was carried into Wednesday.

“We picked up right where we left off in the second day. We had a tough battle in the American side and we work hard all the time. We focus on the team aspect. We start early and groom them to our system and we stay consistent,” Tigers head coach Leon Curtis said.

It was 17-8 going into continuation the second night on Wednesday as the Tigers picked up right where they left off walking four straight times and scoring five runs in the top of the fifth. The action began when Anthony Tullio hit a two-run single to center field with two strikes. Luke Curtis followed with a two-run double, and the Tigers would eventually score another run taking the 22-8 lead and sealing the victory. The Indians would see some offense in the bottom half as they scored two runs, but it was not enough as the game was called due to the 10-run rule after the fifth inning.

The top four in the batting order garnished 12 of the 22 runs for the game: Justin Hines, Curtis, Jimenez, and Markie Delgadillo. Curtis drew four walks, and scored four runs. Hines went 2-for-3 and walked twice. Jake Abrams was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored.

“They did a good job at the plate and on the hill,” Curtis said. “It resembled the first game, but walked more. We ran the count deep and drove it at the right time.”

Hines started the game and tossed 2  1/3 innings, Markie Delgadillo came in the third and made it into the fourth after tossing 1  2/3 innings.  Jake Abrams closed the game for the champs and threw one inning, allowed two runs and struck out two. Combined, Hines, Delgadillo and Abrams amassed seven strikeouts for the game, allowed 10 runs on seven walks and hits.

The Tigers come in red hot during their last 17 games as they have won 15 including the playoffs. In the two championship games against the Indians, the Tigers saw a total of 34 runs produced, 22 hits, and over 31 walks.

“If anything, we have been consistent approaching offense, defense and pitching. Our strategy has helped and been helpful,” Curtis said. “They did a good job at the plate and on the hill. We ran the count deep and drove it at the right time.”

The American champs will now host the National League champion Rockies, who come in just as hot having won 16 straight games and producing over 28 runs in the playoffs, in the City Championship game today.

“In this game you need to do all the little things right to come out on top,” Rockies head coach Doug Grande said. “The kids need to keep doing what they do and play well on all three phases, offense, defense and pitching. Baseball is that type of game that one run games can make a huge difference in a game like this.”

The game will take place at Julien Field at 7 p.m. with the winner receiving the city title.