La Verne Little League historians are running to the record books to learn if any other team in city history has ever gone 22-0 as did this year’s Major Division American League White Sox, who crowned their perfect season last night at Pelota Park with a 12-1 victory over the National League Cardinals behind a masterful 10-strikeout performance by the Nick Lodolo.
“I think there was one other team that went 22-0,” said Dave Zylstra, one of the White Sox coaches. Zylstra, by the way, may have set another record. With the win by the White Sox, on which his son Logan played, Zlystra now has had a hand in four city titles. His sons Ryan, Brock and Tanner also played on city championship teams.
But, we digress.
Coming off Saturday’s series opener won by the Pale Hose, 7-4, the White Sox picked up where they left off by scoring four runs in the opening frame on hits by Lodolo, Cole Sojka, Andrew Berdugo and Zylstra. Sojka also knocked in two runners and before the night was over would collect a total of six RBIs.
The home team Cardinals responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning, Taylor Trujillo walked with one out and Pipes Lopez doubled him to third before Taylor eventually scored on a wild pitch. That was the last run, however, the Cardinals could muster on a night when Lodolo seemed to get stronger with each passing inning.
Meanwhile, the South Siders posted another four-run inning in the second, sending nine batters to the plate. Leading the attack were Adrian Bejarano, Sojka and Will Guerra, who each singled.
The Cardinals’ Joe Defina came into pitch in the top of the third and did a good job holding down the powerful White Sox in the third and fourth innings.
In the fifth, however, the White Sox put together a two-out rally, backed by a double by Sojka and singles by Guerra and Berdugo.
After facing one batter in the bottom of the six, Lodolo, maxed out on his pitch count, surrendering the ball to his teammate Sojka who set down the final two batters to give the White Sox their perfect season that culminated in a dog pile near the pitching mound.
“It wasn’t the perfect season or the wins that made this season special,” said White Sox manager Tom Lodolo. “It was the kids and their parents.”
Across the board, the White Sox were a combination of great offense, defense and a deep pitching staff.
“It was a dream season,” added Lodolo.