Medina pitches MGM to Junior championship


LA CRESCENTA — Girl power was in full effect Wednesday evening in local Little League baseball action.

In a rare occurrence, both starting pitchers in the championship game of the Glendale Junior Division Championship were girls.

But it was the Mark G. McNells (MGM) team’s Devon Medina who out-dueled her counterpart from Kiwanis, Natasha Cohen, to pace her squad to a 7-2 victory and tournament title at Dunsmore Park.

“It was awesome to have two girls pitching in this game,” Medina said. “I have played against Natasha for a long time and she’s just a really, really good player. I’m always happy to see her out there.”

Medina went the distance in a seven-inning, 95-pitch effort that yielded just four hits. She allowed two runs, struck out three and walked two.

“Their pitcher did a phenomenal job and she really kept us off balance for a lot of the game,” MGM Manager Rich Medina said. “I really thought both pitchers really did a great job today.

“Devon is a pretty confident kid and she really showed that today. She has been very successful pitching in baseball. I was just happy that she was able to finish it today.”

Cohen went 4 1/3 innings, giving up four hits and two walks while striking out two. When she left in the fifth inning suffering from arm problems, Kiwanis held a 2-1 lead.

MGM struck first with one run in the first inning after Cameron Albert (two for three with a walk, a run batted in and two runs scored) doubled and scored on a double from Ricky Reisner (two for two with three RBI).

But Kiwanis battled back to take a 2-1 advantage in the fourth inning. Taylor Jazan (two for three) and Quinn Deitch drove in runs in the inning.

A two-run scoring single by Reisner and an error enabled MGM to score two runs in the fifth inning to take back the lead, 3-2.

MGM tacked on four runs in the sixth inning. Albert, Ben Elster (two for three with a walk and two runs scored) and Russell Morell drove in runs in the frame that was extended by a Kiwanis error.

“We made a couple of miscues and that hurt us,” said Kiwanis coach Jorge Jazan, who was filling in for manager John Breckow. “And that is very uncharacteristic for us because we are usually a very strong fielding team.

“But there were 10 teams from different Little Leagues in this tournament and to be one of the final two is a great accomplishment. Also, two teams from the Crescenta Valley Little League in the championship was nice to see.”

Twitter: @jefftsports