Enchantment Juniors pitch shutout for title

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The Enchantment Junior Little League All-Star team finished the District 9 Tournament undefeated Tuesday night, shutting out Westgate 6-0 at the Enchantment Little League complex to earn a trip to the state tournament for the second year in a row.

“(Coming in) we just wanted to keep our errors down,” said manager Pat Ortiz. “Last game against South Valley we had a few too many. So we wanted to tighten that up. We got great pitching from Henry and were able to get three or four double plays.”

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: THE ENCHANTMENT JUNIOR All-Star team and coaches pose with their championship banner after beating Westgate Little League 6-0 Tuesday night to repeat as District 9 Little League champions.

Pitcher Henry Jaramillo threw a three-hitter in the shutout and got plenty of support from the Enchantment defense, which turned several double plays to keep Westgate from mounting any serious threats. Jaramillo finished with three strikeouts for the game.

Joshua Ortiz finished the game scoring three of Enchantment’s runs and going 3-for-3 from the plate with a pair of singles and a triple.

“I was just trying to get strikeout and grounders to win the game,” said Jaramillo. “Today we played as a team, everyone was making plays.”

Ortiz started the scoring for Enchantment in the second inning with a two RBI single. Ortiz advanced on a pair of passed balls and brought the score to 3-0, scoring from third on a single by Zach Baros.

Ortiz scored again in the fourth after starting the inning with single, scoring on a sacrifice fly to bring the ELL lead to 4-0.

Ortiz brought in Nico Davids in the sixth inning with a triple, then scored himself on a single by Matt Castillo to put Enchantment up 6-0. Westgate only got runners into scoring position in the fifth inning, but Jaramillo and the Enchantment defense was able to get out of the bases-loaded jam.

“I came relaxed and just hit (the ball),” said Joshua Ortiz. “We’ve been working on defense in practice — turning double plays and our infield-outfield game. It was pretty big.”

Enchantment began the four-team tournament by beating Westgate 11-1 in a mercy rule-shortened game. The squad then advanced to Tuesday’s championship game by beating South Valley 7-6 on Sunday.

Enchantment advances to the Junior Little League State Tournament at the Copper Little League complex in Bayard, N.M., beginning Friday, July 18.

The Belen Little League 10-11-year old All-Stars were sent crashing out of their three-team tournament with a pair of losses this past weekend.

Belen fell 19-1 to Westgate Little League on Saturday morning, falling to the consolation bracket of the double-elimination tournament. The South Valley All-Stars then eliminated Belen with a dominating 20-0 win Monday night.

“The team came out to play, I thank every one of them for their dedication,” said coach Andrew Gomez. “They got some good experience here.”

Belen was held hitless against South Valley but had three batters hit by a pitch to get on base. Belen got a runner, Daniel Garcia, into scoring position immediately in the first inning but were kept off the board by three straight outs.

On Saturday, Garcia again got into scoring position in the first inning but was again stranded. Westgate scored 10 runs in the first two innings in that game.

Ben Espinosa got a little bit of pride back for Belen in the fourth and final inning by hitting a solo home run.