The McKinleyville 10-year-old All-Stars turned in an inspired performance on Wednesday night, rallying late to advance to the championship round at the Northern California state tournament in Turlock.
Playing in an elimination game for the third straight day, McKinleyville overcame a late three-run deficit with five runs over the final two innings and held on for a 7-5 win over Los Altos.
The victory sends McKinleyville into the championship round against undefeated San Mateo, with the two teams playing on Thursday night at 7 p.m.
If Mack wins, they will play a true championship game on Friday night to decide the state title.
Several players stepped up for the resilient local All-Star team against Los Altos, including Breyden Brock, who is enjoying an outstanding postseason.
Brock finished 2-for-2 with a triple, a double and two walks.
He also had a pair of RBIs and scored twice.
Teoh Arredondo also had a big night offensively and finished 2-for-4 with a double, and drove in the winning run with a huge two-RBI double in the top of the sixth to break a late 5-5 tie.
Liam Currell also was 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Jared Brunner finished 1-for-3 and drove in Currell for the game-tying run in the fifth.
Lucas Ball was equally effective on the hill, turning in his most impressive performance of the playoffs with a postseason-high 75 pitches.
The young All-Star, who had not thrown more than 20 pitches in a game this postseason, had ice in his veins down the stretch and held a dangerous Los Altos offense scoreless over the final two innings, with Brunner pitching the final out to secure the win.
Ball was particularly impressive in the fifth, throwing just 10 pitches for a three-up, three-down inning.
McKinleyville took an early lead in the top of the first when Brock doubled to score Colton Hawkes, who had walked to reach base.
Brock made it 2-0 when he scored on a passed ball moments later.
Hawkes was instrumental in the win and would also walk and score later in the game.
Trailing 5-2, the Mack players scored three runs on a two-out rally in the fifth to tie the game and set up a thrilling finish.
Arredondo got the late rally started with a single, before Brock hit an RBI triple and Currell singled to score Brock.
Moments later, Brunner singled in Currell to tie the game.
With one out in the sixth, Ball was walked and the speedy Blaine Martin would come in as a pinch runner.
Hawkes was then walked, and with two outs Arredondo hit a double to score both runners and give McKinleyville the late lead.
McKinleyville had earlier chances to score but would strand a few runners, including Jayce Daniels who was walked on a full count in the second and made his way to third with two outs.
In the third, Brock was walked and Currell singled, but both runners were also stranded.
The Mack All-Stars also played well defensively, as they have for much of the postseason, consistently making big plays with the ball in play.
Thursday’s game can be followed on Gamechanger.
Categories: baseball, Little League, Youth sports
Wow, what an experience.👏👍🤞