For three innings, Del Rio and unbeaten McAllister Park-American were engaged in a baseball classic.
With only two teams remaining in the Little League Texas West Section 3 9-11-year-old Baseball Tournament, Del Rio was fighting to pull off the upset and force the “if necessary” game Tuesday night while McAllister Park was looking to close out its tournament run with an unblemished record.
And for three innings, a sole McAllister Park run was all that separated the two teams.
Then the fourth inning came and McAllister Park scored 12 unanswered runs on their way to winning the game, 13-0, and claiming the sectional title Monday night at the Val Verde County Sports Complex.
The game was everything fans on both sides could ask for. Del Rio starting pitcher Diego Rosales matched his McAllister Park counterpart, Chase Hill, through the first three innings.
McAllister Park had a chance to score in the first inning. Bodie Wayman singled, but was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double.
McAllister Park did put two runners on base when Spencer Hansen and Cash Edwards both singled, and then they loaded the bases with two outs when Karsten Holman reached on an error, but then Rosales was able to get Michael Minister to fly out to right field for the final out.
McAllister Park did break through for its first run in the top of the third. Logan Schmidt smacked a double, then came home on a double by Holman to stake his team to a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Del Rio put its first two runners on base as Sergio Cedillo walked and Alex Richter followed with a single. After making his way to third, Cedillo tried to score on a wild pitch, but his headfirst slide into home resulted in him being called out due to the slide being illegal for safety reasons.
With Richter on third, Tyler Madera had a chance to tie the game, but his grounder was fielded and he was thrown out at first for the final out of the inning.
When the fourth inning came, McAllister Park’s bats were ready to go.
The team pounded out six hits, drew a pair of walks and took advantage of five Del Rio errors to plate 12 runs and put Del Rio on the verge of being eliminated from the tournament via the run rule.
Del Rio had one last chance to score in the bottom of the inning.
Junior Bustamante was able to reach base on an error to lead off the at-bat. He was able to make his way around the bases and was on third with two outs when the ball got past McAllister Park’s catcher. When Bustamante broke for home, the ball arrived just before he did and he was tagged out by Schmidt, the new pitcher, for the final out of the tournament.
San Antonio’s McAllister Park now advances to the regional tournament in Abilene.
Del Rio’s team included Esequiel “Jr” Bustamante, Sergio Cedillo, Louie Faz, Mason Hanselman, Tyler Madera, Tres McCrea, Christopher Mireles, Will Mitchell, Alex Richer, Diego Rosales, Diego Rosales, Matthew Sandoval and Aydin Torres. The team was managed by Mike Becerra, coaches were Leroy Mireles and Adrian Torres, and team mom was Lizet Torres.