Three more runs provided to be a nice cushion for the Orioles.
Taking on the Yankees in the Babe Ruth American League title game at Kofu Park on Tuesday, the Orioles looked like they were going to run away with the title. The Yankees battled back, but the Orioles posted an 8-5 win.
“First off, I want to congratulate the Yankees on a great game,” said Orioles manager Greg Kalthos. “Tough opponent.”
In the top of the seventh, the Orioles (13-1) held an 8-3 lead. But the Yankees (5-9) scored two more runs to make the game intense. Marcus Castro singled to right field and moved to second when teammate Roman Gutirrez reached first base on an Oriole error. Both players scored when Alex Mendoza singled to right field.
The Orioles held a 5-3 lead entering the bottom of the sixth, when they scored their final three runs of the game. The Orioles, who finished in first place during the regular season, only needed a single from Dylan Gomez, plus a walk each to Nick Anderson, Lucas Goubert and Miguel Saldana and a combined two stolen bases and three passed balls that accounted toward their runs.
The Yankees scored a combined four runs — twice each in the top of the fifth and sixth innings — to make it 5-3 headed into the bottom of the sixth.
In the top of the sixth, two walks, two passed balls and an Oriole throwing error led to the Yankees’ Jackson Handel and Marcus Mireles touching home plate to make it 5-3.
The Orioles, who swept the Yankees during the regular season, were able to record their outs. That started when Gutirrez tried to stretch his single into a double but was thrown out at second base. A grounder and strike out led to the final outs and the Orioles’ title.
“It’s always somebody different,” said Kalthos of different Oriole players stepping up at the right time this season. “To me, that’s the strength of the team.”
The Orioles scored twice each in the bottom of the third and second innings to make it 4-0. In the third, Osmar Munoz reached base on an error and scored on Lucas Goubert’s grounder. Adam Koponen scored the second run for the Orioles, as he singled, stole second base and touched home plate when Munoz got on first base.
In the top of the third, the Yankees scored their first run when Mireles walked, moved around the base paths to third base when Brandon Brunni singled and scored on Thomas McKinney’s single.
In the bottom of the second, Tieler Hallanger singled, stole second base and moved to third on a passed ball and made it 2-0 when Isaiah Duran reached first base on a Yankee throwing error. After stealing second and third bases, Duran scored on a passed ball for a 3-0 score.
Munoz singled to left field, stole second, advanced to third on a grounder and scored the Orioles’ first run of the game in the bottom of the first when Anderson singled up the middle of the infield.
On the mound, Hallanger went three innings and Anderson finished the final four. They combined to only give up five hits.
“I think pitching is always key,” Kalthos said. “We try to develop a lot of pitchers.”
10U in Clovis
Lodi’s 10U All-Star Team got another victory at the Central California Cal Ripken State Championship on Tuesday, with an 11-3 win over Kerman.
The win leaves Lodi 2-0 in pool play, with the finale today against Five Cities at 6 p.m.
Hunter Rau led the Lodi offense with a 3-for-4 day, complete with a triple, a double and three RBIs. Jacob Focacci was 2-for-3 with two runs, Cole Dobbins and Carson Neubebauer had doubles, Jax Bennett had a single and two RBIs, and Micah Mandracken and Dawson Labarthe had singles.
On the mound, Labarthe, Bennett and Jacob Garibaldi combined to allow four hits while striking out nine.
Contact Mike Bush at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.