Enchantment Minors fall in title game

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The Enchantment Major All-Stars handed South Valley it’s only defeat of the District 9 Little League Tournament in dramatic fashion in the championships game, Tuesday, July 8.

South Valley returned the favor in the Major division’s “if” game the next night in more dramatic fashion to send Enchantment home for the summer.

Kenn Rodriguez- News-Bulletin photo: ENCHANTMENT MAJOR ALL-STARS shake hands with coaches from the South Valley All-Stars following their 13-12 championship game loss in the District 9 Little League Tournament at the Enchantment Little League complex Thursday night.

“We couldn’t have had a better group of 12 kids representing our community the way it needs to be represented — with respect,” said Enchantment manager Randy Castillo. “The work ethic and respect they have for the game and for themselves is great.”

Last Tuesday, Enchantment took a 2-0 lead early then held off a furious South Valley rally to win 9-8.

On Wednesday, South Valley took advantage of early errors to take a 4-0 lead after one inning. Then came Enchantment’s turn to rally, as ELL sent up 13 batters in the fifth, scoring nine runs to take a 12-10 lead.

South Valley then scored one run in the fifth and, again taking advantage of a fielding error in the outfield, and scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take the win.

“We scratched and clawed all throughout the tournament,” Castillo said. “We got some great pitching performances that kept us close. Offensively we did enough.”

The game Wednesday was Enchantment’s third against South Valley in the Majors tournament, with SVLL knocking ELL out of the winner’s bracket with a 13-4 win on Sunday.

Once there, Enchantment eliminated Belen’s defensive struggle 3-1 on Tuesday with starter Jaiden Baros and Karlos Cieremans combining to pitch a one-hitter.

Belen, which was dropped to the consolation bracket by South Valley as well with an 8-1 defeat on Saturday, won a slugfest with Yucca Little League 17-15 on Monday.

The Belen-Yucca game was a back-and-forth affair, with Yucca taking an early 7-1 lead that they extended to 11-5 before Belen rallied to take a 12-11 lead. Yucca then tied the game at 13-13 in the fifth and withstood another rally before snagging the win.

Yucca was sent out of the winner’s bracket in their first game, a 14-3 loss to Enchantment.

But Yucca rallied in game two behind a perfect game pitched by Chris Logan and an eight run explosion in the fifth inning to eliminate Westgate Little League 12-0.

“He did terrific,” Yucca manager Christopher Logan. “They had their hearts in it (the last two games). They brought their sticks when they needed two. William Kline had a couple go over the fence. (Overall) I’m really proud of these guys.”