Six-run second helps Orchard Mesa win state crown
The Orchard Mesa Little League Major All-Star baseball team did it not once, but twice.
Orchard Mesa defeated Academy Little League on back-to-back days to win the state championship. OM won 10-4 on Wednesday at Summit Middle School in Breckenridge.
“We came back through the losers’ bracket and started hitting the ball,” Orchard Mesa manager Pete Steves said. “We were more focused. We realized (the state title) wasn’t going to be handed to us.”
Orchard Mesa scored six runs in the second inning to spark the victory.
Derek Rubalcaba fouled off several pitches before drawing a two-out walk to get it started. Sinjin Garrett had a two-run double, Koby Steves had a RBI single and Andrew Martinez had a two-run home run. Trey Garcia had an RBI single as well.
Steves, Martinez, Garcia and Logan Schaneman were each 3 for 4 in the game.
Academy cut the gap to 7-3, but OM scored three runs in the sixth and held on for the title.
This is the third state title for this group of players. They won the 9-10 state title two years ago and the 10-11 state title last year.
Orchard Mesa advances to the Southwestern Regional tournament beginning Aug. 6 in Waco, Texas. The regional champion qualifies for the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
North Boulder took an early lead and held on to defeat Monument Little League 10-4 in the championship game at Hidden Lake Little League.
Alex Cox hit a three-run home run for Monument and limited North Boulder to two runs in four innings of relief on the mound.
North Boulder took advantage of a close game Tuesday night to force another game Wednesday.