After battling into extra innings in Thursday’s Little League U.S. semifinal, Sweetwater Valley was eliminated 9-7 by Pearland, Texas in 8 frames.
The 1st inning lasted nearly 50 minutes as both teams got on the board quickly. California’s Walker Lannom smashed a 3-run homer to put the Bonita bombers in front right away. But in the bottom half of the frame, Pearland’s Zach Mack crushed a grand slam to Left field to help Texas jump ahead, 4-3.
The boys in blue regrouped in the 3rd inning when Levi Mendez smashed a solo shot to tie the game at 4. Moments later, his teammate Jacob Baptista sent a 2-run homer over the fence to give Sweetwater Valley a 6-4 advantage.
After Texas rallied to tie the game at 6, Sweetwater Valley came up with a big defensive play in the 5th. Pinch-hitter Connor DeLeon tried to stretch a double into a triple but Walker Lannom fired the relay throw right on the money to Antonio Andrade who tagged DeLeon as he slid into the bag. We would be tied at 6 after 6 innings and go to extras.
In the top of the 8th, Baptista knocks in the go-ahead run with a line-drive single up the middle. Nate Nankil scored from 2nd base on the hit to put Sweetwater Valley up 7-6.
But in the bottom of the 8th, Ben Gottfried crushed the game-tying home run to give Texas new life and make it 7-7. Minutes later, Caleb Low ended the game with a 2-run walk-off homer.