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Sunnyvale Yankees Outlast Briarwood Tigers in Pitching Duel

The opening round of the Tournament of Champions (TOC) for the Little League Intermediate Division began Tuesday night with the Yankees of Sunnyvale against the Tigers of Briarwood. This playoff opener featured incredibly strong pitching on both sides.

Jomo Albrecht and Isaiah Cho combined to hold Briarwood to just one run. While Briarwood starter Drake Tavares also held Sunnyvale to just one run in his five innings of work. Tavares actually left the game in the top of the sixth inning without having allowed a single hit.

“For coming in as a 12-year-old, he did a good job for us,” chimed Tigers Manager Paul Adame. “He wants to play. He wants to be the best. He tries one hundred percent all the time, and tonight he was fantastic for us.”

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“My fastball was really working tonight,” responded Tavares when asked what was working for him on the mound. “They weren’t hitting it much and when they did, my defense picked me up behind me.”

One of those defenders behind Tavares is Julian Cuevas; the shortstop made multiple nice plays in the field to help shut down the Yankees offense.

The Yankees managed to score a first inning run without a hit off Tavares, and the score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the fourth inning.

Tigers center fielder Jaxson Murillo stepped up and drove a line drive to the opposite field for a double. Murillo then used his speed to come all the way around to score from second on a wild pitch when the Yankees catcher couldn’t locate the ball.

“I was just trying to move up one base and then I noticed the catcher wasn’t able to find the ball,” noted Murillo on his scoring sequence. “So, then I was able to move up again and score, which was pretty cool.”

Murillo’s tying run would be the only other run scored in the game until the sixth inning. The Yankees would regain a one-run lead, once again without a hit. A couple of walks, pass balls and wild pitches aided Sunnyvale’s ability to score a run in what was otherwise a strong inning on the mound from Tigers pitcher Nolan Caroompas.

Taking over on the mound with nobody out and a runner at first, Caroompas induced a soft foul ball caught by Tavares at first base for the first out of the inning. Caroompas then came up with a big strikeout with the bases loaded.

The Tigers were just one out away from escaping the jam when a passed ball allowed the go-ahead run to score.

The Yankees would finally get a couple hits in the seventh inning that helped add to the team’s lead. Albrecht led off with a solid single and promptly stole second. Jonah Owara then drove a single to left field and the Yankees had runners at the corners with nobody out.

Those two would eventually come around to score and increase the lead to 4-1.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers had a chance to come back from behind, but Cho shut the door with a one, two, three inning, saving the win for the Yankees.

Other Little League Posts:
Sunnyvale Bests Westside In Pitchers Duel
Sunnyvale Juniors On Brink Of NorCal Championship
Westside Bests Neighborhood Rival Briarwood
Briarwood And Westside Advance To Elimination Tournament

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