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Westside Yankees Outlast Royals in Playoff Nail Biter 

The Yankees beat the Royals in extra innings by a score of 12-9 in the Westside Little League playoffs to help closeout the season.

It may have been a minor-level playoff game between the Westside Yankees and Royals on Tuesday evening, but the matchup ended up having major drama all the way into extra innings.

Tied up at nine runs each after six full innings, the visiting Yankees would add three runs in the top of the seventh and shut the door in the bottom half of the inning for a 12-9 victory.

“This is my ninth year of managing teams at Westside and this is one of the most special seasons we’ve had so far based on the culture we had,” chimed Yankees Manager Richard Fitting. “I don’t draft players, I draft families and that’s the support and spirit that you see here on the baseball field.”

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No better example of that family spirit on the field is the enthusiasm from Yankees cleanup hitter Audrey Uyemoto. The Yankees outfielder notched the first two RBIs of the game with a loud single to center in the top of the first.

However, it wasn’t just her loud contact with the bat, but her booming voice supporting her teammates. From second base as a runner, from her position in the outfield and waiting her turn to bat in the dugout, Uyemoto was yelling with the auditory volume of a high schooler despite being under 10 years old.

“I make sure to stay positive and make sure my teammates are not down,” smiled Uyemoto when asked if she’s always been one of the loudest supporters of her teammates. “I always want to make sure they know what the play is and where to go with the ball.”

“Her energy is amazing,” beamed Fitting when asked about his cleanup hitter. “What you saw is a testament of what we have seen all season from her.”

Other key standouts for the Westside Yankees were Caden Catlett, who starred with his bat, driving in multiple runs, and Asher Garcia who got the last three outs in the bottom of the seventh without allowing a run.

On the other side of the diamond, the Royals standouts were Laksh Baireddy and Robert Fiore. The former came in to pitch in the middle innings and helped settle things down after the Yankees had opened the game with a 5-0 lead.

Fiore, meanwhile, was the offensive catalyst of the comeback by driving in two runs on a triple and then proceeding to steal home moments later to tie the game at five.

“I had two strong hits, but they were both caught,” chimed Baireddy after the game. “But my pitching was pretty good.”

Baireddy’s pitching allowed the Royals to have a great chance to win the game in the bottom of the sixth with Fiore at the plate. With two outs, though, and a runner at third, the Yankees walked Fiore intentionally.

“I was pretty bummed they didn’t let me hit in the sixth,” admitted Fiore.

“It was a great game, a great opponent. The Yankees and ourselves were battling all season as the one and two seeds in the division,” noted Royals Manager David Shamoun. “So, this game had all the hype of a championship game, and it was everything we expected. The kids fought their hardest and sometimes it just doesn’t roll your way.”

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2 Comments
  1. Santa Clara Westside Alumn 3 weeks ago
    Reply

    Westside needs to put the TOC and ALL STAR awards back up and show their pride!

  2. Clara James 3 weeks ago
    Reply

    Last year, Westside saw great development in its players. The Managers and Coaches cared and gave players a chance to be ” All-Stars.”
    It’s unfortunate that parents don’t let Coaches do their jobs. I don’t know who the President is at this time, but there is no leadership or development in the league. Hopefully, someday, they will bring positive sportsmanship, and there will be more coaches like Fitting and Shamoun, who are mentioned in this article.

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