He followed the ground ball and then let out a sign of relief.
Luis Gonzalez didn’t need a relief pitcher to back him up, just an
out to carry Holmes & Holmes into the championship game.
Gonzalez got the out and tossed a two-hitter in a complete-game
effort to spark Holmes & Holmes to a 3-2 victory over the Tujunga
Yankees in the Little League District 16 Tri-Cities Major Baseball
Tournament second-chance bracket final at Babe Herman Field on
Holmes & Holmes (25-6) will meet the High Temp Metals (22-6) in
the tournament’s championship game of the 11- and 12-year-old
division at 6 p.m. today at Babe Herman Field. If Holmes & Holmes
beats High Temp tonight, an if-necessary game will be played at 6
p.m. Friday at Babe Herman Field.
Holmes & Holmes, which lost to High Temp, 15-0, in the
winner’s-bracket final Monday, capitalized on two errors by the
Yankees (20-10) to build a 3-0 lead. It gave Gonzalez a cushion and
allowed him to relax. He didn’t give up a hit until Michael
McCallister singled in the fourth inning.
The Yankees loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth and
Gonzalez induced Cody Tom to tap out to short to end the game.
“I had to buckle down and pitch like I normally pitch,” Gonzalez
said. “I mixed my fastball with my change-up. On the last out, I just
hoped an infielder would get the ball. I watched it the whole way.”
Gonzalez, a right-hander, flirted with danger in the fourth, fifth
and sixth innings. He escaped a jam in the fourth inning when catcher
Eric Strangis picked off Yankees’ baserunner Justin Rivas at third.
“We wanted to play small ball and we couldn’t get the bunt down,”
Yankees Coach Gary McCallister said. “We tried to work a delayed
steal and their catcher caught a glimpse of it.”