La Verne All-Star Nines Win in Walk-Off, 11-10

July 14, 2009
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0031In the end, after all the singles, doubles and a home run, it was a walk-off little squibber that decided the outcome of a marathon game between the La Verne and Claremont 9-year-old all-stars on Monday night in Glendora.

Finding himself in the right spot all game long, lead-off hitter Tommy Delgado nubbed a ball toward first base and by the time the Claremont pitcher fielded it and threw home, Chase Sojka spiked the plate with the winning run, giving La Verne a dramatic 11-10 victory.

The inning was set up with a lead-off walk to Sojka who advanced to third on a one-out single by Randy Fertig.

La Verne had been cruising early in the contest. The team’s first run came across in the second on a sacrifice bunt by Tanner Siffert after a Matthew Kurnik double and a Luke Russell single.

In the third, La Verne tackd on three more runs with a two-out rally, triggered by Delgado’s solo blast over the left-centerfield fence. Before the scoring was through, La Verne strung together four more hits, including a double by Nolan O’ Laughlin, a single by Joe De Fina and RBI singles by Nick Litwin and Griffin Mulvey.

De Fina would be a perfect 3-for-3 on the night. Litwin also had a pair of singles and walk.

In the top of the fourth, it was Claremont’s turn to take control. Under tournament rules, Claremont scored the maximum five runs on the back of a pair of singles, a double, two hit batters, a walk and an error.0131

In the bottom half of the inning, La Verne answered with five runs of its own, at one point nursing five consecutive walks before De Fina delivered a two-run single to close out the scoring.

La Verne’s 9-5 lead was short-lived, however, as Claremont rolled another five-run inning. Seven straight batters reached base via walk or base hit. The big blows were two-run doubles by Ryan Hilinsky and Lenny Davis.

Facing a one-run deficit, 10-9, La Verne tied the game when Jared Serrano with two outs grounded a sun-aided chopper that deflected off the first baseman’s glove to bring in Kurnik. There was some talk as to whether the skipping ball was fair, but the play stood as called on the field. The sun was also beating down hard on the right side of the diamond making fielding conditions extremely difficult.

In the top of the sixth, it was Delgado again, coming in to relieve Kurnik. With the bases loaded, Delgado fanned Claremont’s final batter.

In the bottom half, with the score 10-10, it was only fitting that the rally would start this time at the bottom of the line-up – Sojka, Medina and Fertig.

And then back to the top, led by that young man, Tommy Delgado.






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