Viva Vegas! A’s ride ace to title

Gilroy
– A pair of aces led their teams to high-stakes victories in
Gilroy Little League championship play this past week.
Unfortunately, only one could walk away the overall winner.
Gilroy – A pair of aces led their teams to high-stakes victories in Gilroy Little League championship play this past week. Unfortunately, only one could walk away the overall winner.

When Rafael “Bubu” Garcia took the hill for the Marx Towing Angels of the Boys’ Majors American League Monday night, it was a do-or-die situation for his team against the Garlic City Billiards A’s. The A’s had the best regular season record in the AL, and needed just one playoff win in two tries to wrap up the league championship.

Bubu came through.

The Angel ace pitched a complete game, leading his team to an 11-2 win and forcing a showdown for all the marbles on Tuesday.

But that’s when the A’s pulled out their own trump card – Eric Vegas.

Vegas was at his best when it counted most, riding an overpowering fastball and a wicked curve to pitch perfect ball into the fourth inning of Tuesday’s championship game. The perfecto was broken up by – guess who? – Bubu Garcia.

Garcia reached on an infield hit in the fourth, took second on a passed ball and stole third. With two outs and a runner on first after a walk, the Angels tried a double steal with Garcia darting for the plate. But A’s catcher Ian Cary gunned down the runner at second for the final out, preserving the shutout.

Vegas finished with a one-hitter.

Cary was equally valuable with the bat. The catcher teamed up with Joey Sanchez to drive in six of the A’s 10 runs. Kyle Stannard and Vegas – who was walked intentionally four times – combined for six runs.

“Tonight was a money game and we went with our money pitcher, Eric Vegas,” said A’s coach Court Stannard. “And it paid off tonight.”

The championship was the second in as many years for Stannard and his A’s. The team won the Boys Majors title outright last year, but with the league split into two divisions – AL and NL – this year, Garlic City Billiards (13-1-1 in the AL) and Gilroy Health & Fitness (14-1-0) were co-champions.

As for the Angels (11-3-1), they were left wondering what might have been if that final game had come down to a showdown between Garcia and Vegas. On May 5, the two aces faced each other for the only time this season.

The result? A 2-2 tie.

2005 Little League Champions

• Boys’ Majors, AL: Garlic City Billiards

• Boys’ Majors, NL: Gilroy Health & Fitness

• Boys’ Minors, AL: Cortec Precision Sheet.

• Boys’ Minors, NL: Maroudas Chiropractic

• Girls’ Majors: Rosso’s Furniture

• Girls’ Minors: Handmade Healthcare

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