Orchard Mesa falls; still in semifinals for ESPN2 game on Tuesday

After back-to-back wins, the Orchard Mesa Little League major boys were off their game.

Sunday at the Southwestern Regional Tournament in Waco, Texas, Orchard Mesa fell 11-1 to Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

Orchard Mesa had already clinched its spot in Tuesday’s semifinals, and Orchard Mesa manager Pete Steves said his team lacked the crispness of its first two games.

“We had a bad game,” Steves said. “We might have had a little letdown because we already clinched.”

Steves said he was able to use the tough loss as a teaching point heading into Tuesday’s game against the Texas East representative from Pearland, Texas

“We tried to stay positive after the game,” Steves said. “We are where we want to be, and we’ll put this game behind us.”

Orchard Mesa started off the game well by taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning. That would be all Orchard Mesa could manage against a tough Arkansas pitcher.

“They threw a big left-handed kid that threw hard and had a good curveball,” Steves said. “We couldn’t get the bats going and only had three hits in the game.”

The loss guarantees that Arkansas will be the No. 1 seed out of Pool A, which sets them up to play the second-place team from Pool B at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

Orchard Mesa plays at 4 p.m. on Tuesday against Texas East, which has already clinched the first-place seed out of Pool A.

Both games will be televised on ESPN2.

“We’ve won two games and we are in the semifinals on ESPN,” Steves said. “It’s hard not to get excited.”

Orchard Mesa is the only team still alive that has an off day today.

During Monday’s schedule, Texas East plays Ocean Springs, Mississippi at 9 a.m., followed by Arkansas against Oklahoma at 4 p.m.

Texas West takes on Louisana in the nightcap at 7 p.m.

At the Cotton Classic in Blytheville, Ark., the Monument 9-10-year-old boys have continued to roll.

Monument defeated Blytheville in its first game 12-2, then took down Whitehall, Ark., 14-0.

Monument plays Oklahoma at 6 p.m. today, and with a win, moves into the championship game.


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