The Davis Aggies and the Lamorinda Immortals advanced to the Black Tie Bash 14-U Majors championship, at Manteca’s Big League Dreams, on Sunday, Sept. 14. Before squaring off in the championship, the two had to win their semifinals games on the replica Polo Grounds field.
Davis defeated the EBR Juniors 3-2 in the first semifinals game of the day, on excellent pitching and timely hitting.
Deavin Reynolds started the game on the mound for the Aggies, starting off fast with two strikeouts in the top of the first inning.
“Deavin went out there and did his thing for us in the semifinals game,” said Aggies head coach Ryan Royster. “We didn’t save him for the championship game this time, and Deavin always gives us a chance to win every time he pitches.”
The Aggies struck first in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI single that was shot by the third baseman, off the bat of Cooper Shorts. Leadoff batter Tyler Ransom scored on the single after starting the game off with a walk, and advancing to third on a perfectly executed hit and run by Jonah Henrickson.
“Cooper was always on base this weekend. He’s our big guy that I can always rely on in the lineup,” Royster said.
With the bases loaded and no outs, EBR’s pitcher Hayden Fuller got out of the jam by forcing three straight infield pop-outs.
Reynolds continued his efficient pitching in the second inning with three straight groundouts, and the Aggies added to their lead with some small ball. Reynolds went from the mound to the plate, starting the inning with a walk and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Dominic Moreno then executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to get Reynolds to third base. The small ball continued with a Cooper Hjerpe groundout to second base to bring in Reynolds.
Pitching dominated the game until the Aggies scored again on a Shorts sacrifice fly to centerfield, scoring Ransom who walked and stole second base, as he continued to be a force on the base paths from the leadoff spot.
After smacking a line drive off the right field wall, Ryan Holgate came in to pitch for Davis. EBR took advantage of the pitching change, as they were patient at the plate with Holgate walking the bases loaded. Samuel Cooke put EBR on the scoreboard for the first time with a line drive to centerfield, plating Matt Jew. Another walk to Samuel Zevanove brought in Will Brega, bringing the score to 3-2 in the Aggies favor.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Royster put Theo Dopkins on the mound and the move paid off. Dopkins got Jimmy Lewis to pop out to himself, ending the game with a 3-2 Aggies victory. Shorts led the Aggies at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a single, double, sacrifice fly, and two RBIs. Reynolds pitched six innings of scoreless ball, and struck out three batters.
Lamorinda comes back to defeat Cepeda Baseball Clubs 8-7 in extra innings
After being down 3-0, and then 7-3 in extra innings, the Lamorinda Immortals did the impossible by defeating Cepeda Baseball Clubs, 8-7 in eight innings.
Cepeda Baseball first got on the board on an attempted back-pick gone wrong by Lamorinda, scoring Andrew Smith in the top of the second inning. Starting pitcher Titus Groeneweg used his bat to help himself out in the top of the third inning, with a double to the left centerfield warning track, scoring Alejandro Toscano-Perez.
Groeneweg showed off his power again in the fifth inning, with another opposite field double, as the ball rolled to the left field wall. The double scored Toscano-Perez again, after he hit his own double to left field.
Lamorinda first saw runs come across the plate in the bottom of the fifth inning. After a Shane White single to left centerfield, White scored on a double to centerfield hit by Kieran Davis. Adam Crampton followed with a single to right field, and Josh Pakola then smacked a liner to left field to knock in Crampton.
After six innings Cepeda Baseball led 3-2, but Lamorinda wouldn’t give in. Whit hustled down the line on an infield chopper to get the Immortals going. Two batters later, Crompton hit a line drive going right at the second baseman’s glove when it somehow went by him and White scored, tying the game at three runs apiece.
In the top of the eighth inning, Cepeda started their lineup over again at the top of the order with their bottom two batters starting on first and second base. A single, sacrifice fly, error, and another single brought in four more runs for Cepeda, giving them a comfortable 7-3 lead.
Chase Hascup came in to pitch in the eighth inning for Cepeda, relieving Groeneweg, who threw seven innings and only giving up two earned runs. The inning started with a single that bounced off of the pitcher’s glove by Crompton. Pakola then hit a fielder’s choice to knock in the first run of the inning for Lamorinda. The lead was shortened again on a Kyren Paris single to left field, scoring Crompton. With nobody covering second base, Hascup attempted to pick off the runner at second base, but the ball flew into the outfield and another run scored, making it a 7-6 game. A walk and a hit by pitch tied it all up at seven runs each.
Tino Bethancourt re-entered the game and on the first pitch he saw, Bethancourt roped a line drive to right field, ending Lamorinda’s improbable comeback, and giving them the 8-7 victory.