HomeBlocksFront-TopSan Marino National Little League Pulls Away Against Pasadena in Extras

San Marino National Little League Pulls Away Against Pasadena in Extras

The 2024 Little League (10-11-12) All-Star Championship in California District 17 kicked off the with an opening contest June 22 featuring Pasadena Southwest all-stars and the all-stars from San Marino National.

In a matchup featuring clutch late-inning offensive fireworks from both teams, it was San Marino National that prevailed in extras, winning 15-8 in the eighth inning to start the tournament with a win Saturday morning in Allendale Park.

“That was a tough sixth inning,” San Marino National coach Andy Carpiac said. “[Pasadena] Southwest did an amazing job at coming back and hitting that game-tying home run, but the boys hung in there and didn’t hang their heads, fought through and had a big inning of their own in the eighth.”

Pasadena Southwest, which trailed by five runs going into the bottom of the sixth and final regularly scheduled inning, opened the frame with three straight singles. The first hit went into left field off the bat of Dom Zepeda. Then Smith Sanderson hit one up the middle, followed by Pierce McLemore, who got the third hit, which drove in a run. Sanderson then scored on an error. San Marino National’s Austin Kar, who come in and pitched a scoreless fifth inning, got the next two outs before giving way on the mound to Henry Carpiac. Pasadena National was down to its last out, but the tying run was at the plate in Ryen Munoz.

Munoz promptly smashed a home run over the fence and 182-foot sign in left field to knot the contest at 7-7. Carpiac then struck out the next batter to send the game into extra innings. Both teams went down in order in the seventh inning, with Carpiac coming back out and striking out the first two batters of the bottom of the frame before inducing a ground out.

After a scoreless seventh inning, the teams ventured into the eighth inning where, by Little League rules, a runner will be automatically placed on second base.

San Marino National exploded for eight runs in the top of the eighth. James Gill started the inning as a runner on second and reached third when Carpiac led off with a single to bring up Joshua Newton.

Newton broke the deadlock by hammering a ball over the fence in left center field for a three-run bomb.

“It was a fastball up,” Newton said. “I was trying to just hit a single, but I got the pitch I liked and hit it.”

The next batter up, Aaron Avila, clobbered his second home run of the contest with a towering solo shot over the right field fence. Justin Chew and Kar then reached on a single and a walk, respectively. Jack MacFarlane swatted an RBI single, which was followed by a sac fly RBI by Henry Repstad. The fifth and sixth runs came home on a single by Ken Shur and then a double by Bryce Carver before a strikeout ended the frame.

“The boys played their hearts out,” Pasadena Southwest coach Mario Leos said. “We talked to them and said it’s not over until it’s over. We came strong, we hit a home run and we were back in the game. We made it to the eighth inning. It was two hours and 20 minutes in the heat, so I’m proud of the boys and way they played.”

Carpiac came back out to pitch the bottom of the inning, retiring the first two batters before Zepeda hit a single to drive in Nick Viola, who had started the bottom of the eighth on second. Carpiac then struck out the next Pasadena Southwest batter to end the game and earn the win.

“He kept his head up,” said coach Carpiac of the younger Carpiac’s resiliency on the mound. “It’s very similar to a game in sectionals last year when he gave up a big home run and then he pitched four blank innings. So, he just kept throwing. We tell the kids you’ve just got to forget about the last play and get out there and do your best, so he did that today.”

It was Pasadena Southwest that got on the board first, with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. Munoz drove in the first run of the contest with a one-out double. Two batters later Nixon Saponara hit an RBI single. Noah Vranes then loaded the bases for Pasadena National with a single, but San Marino National escaped the inning when the next batter hit a hard liner that Kar dove for and caught at second base before getting the ball to first for a double play.

San Marino National came back with five runs in the top of the third to take the lead for the first time. Kyler Gong led off with an infield single and, two batters later, scored on an error following a groundout. Now with two outs, the next three San Marino players reached base on a pair of singles, by Gill and Carpiac respectively, followed by Newton getting hit by a pitch. Avila then cleared the bases with a grand slam to right field.

San Marino National tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the fifth. Carver hit a double into the corner of right field to drive in Shur, who led off the frame with a walk. Carver then scored two batters later on off a wild pitch.

“We were just battling the entire time,” MacFarlane said. “It’s a special group. We have a lot of team chemistry.”


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