Clutch McKinleyville 12s win another close one to remain alive

File photo – Hudson Kapko

A resilient group of McKinleyville 12-year-old all-stars are finding ways to win close games.

On Monday night, they kept their hopes of a state championship alive with a 7-3 win over tournament hosts Sunset Little League in Stockton.

It was the second straight elimination-game victory for the local all-stars, who also defeated Maidu 10-6 on Sunday, and it was the second straight day they broke a late tie with a big sixth inning.

Trailing 3-1 early in the game, the Mack all-stars tied the game with two runs in the third.

The score remained 3-3 until the sixth and final scheduled inning, when McKinleyville pulled away with four late runs.

Donny Chivrell drew a walk to lead off the inning and Carson Hicks followed with a base hit.

Hudson Kapko then singled to score Chivrell and give McKinleyville the lead.

After both runners advanced on a passed ball, Sunset intentionally walked the ever-dangerous Cabella Carper to load the bases.

Everett Gruetzmacher, however, would make them pay when he drove in two runners on a two-out base hit, before Carper closed out the scoring moments later on a Gruetzmacher steal attempt.

And that would prove to be more than enough for pitcher Kapko and his defense.

After McKinleyville gave up three runs in the bottom of the first, the “Huddy Badger” held the Sunset offense scoreless the remainder of the way.

He allowed just four hits and three walks in a complete-game performance and struck out five.

Kapko also scored his team’s opening run of the game in the top of the first.

Jude Scher and Chivrell each also scored a run in the third as McKinleyville battled back from the early deficit.

Scher singled to reach base, before Chrivell doubled to give McKinleyville a pair of runners in scoring position.

Braylon Smith then hit a ground ball to second to score Scher, before Hicks drove home Chivrell on a a hard hit ground ball that grazed off the third baseman’s glove.

Defensively, Hicks, Teoh Arredondo and Blake Carper combined on a 4-6-3 double play to end the second inning.

Hicks and Kapko each had two hits to lead the Mack offense, while Gruetzmacher, Scher, Chivrell, Blake Carper and Breyden Brock each also had a hit in the win.

The McKinleyville 12s are now 2-1 in tournament play and 8-1 on the summer and will play a third elimination game on Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m.

They are now one of just four teams remaining in the hunt for the NorCal State Championship.

A big shout out to Eric Eichin for all the stats and scoring details.

The McKinleyville Junior All-Stars, meanwhile, saw their season end in a nine-inning loss at their state tournament on Sunday.

3 replies »

  1. 25% chance, feeling it…we believe…

    These young athletes are anvamazing group… defense, ice pitching, timely hitting…

    Slow the game down more, take more time between pitches, batters step out of batters box to readjust, defense shifts from innong to inning, etc… just wow… just win out, almost there to represent the west region north participant in LLWS…


  2. These young athletes were here as U10’s last season, they are primed… they are confident, and they shall give it their all and prevail.

    These baseballers are champions, and the world would be honored to watch them play ball.

  3. Mack Attack Can Do It… hearts of gold…


    Elimination Bracket Semifinal (four teams remain) (Wednesday, July 26):
    McKinleyville 7, Capitola-Soquel 3 (elim.)

    Elimination Bracket Final (three teams remain) (Thursday, July 27):
    Game 11 – Vacaville American versus McKinleyville (elim.) (5:30 p.m.)

    Championship Series:
    Game 12 – Bollinger Canyon versus Winner 11 (TITLE) (Friday, July 28 – 5:30 p.m.)
    Game 13 – If necessary (Saturday, July 29 – 10:00 a.m.)

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