In 16 years of coaching baseball, Mark Ordaz said he hadn’t been a part of a game like the one his Gilroy Little League Junior Majors Mets experienced Wednesday night.
With the District 59 Tournament of Champions title on the line, the Mets welcomed the Milpitas Rays to town. Little did either team know that they were about to participate in a marathon of a contest.
When all the dust settled, and as darkness fell on the Gilroy Sports Complex, the Mets had survived a 4-and-a-half-hour battle, topping the Rays in a wild, to say the least, 25-18 tilt.
An unexpectedly tight strike zone made for a slowly developing ball game, and by the time the top of the fourth inning rolled around – two hours after first pitch – there were already a combined 28 runs and 31 walks.
“The bottom line is that we are the TOC champs. So the kids are happy and the fans are happy,” Ordaz said. “But I’ve never seen a game like this.”
The first inning alone lasted nearly an hour and featured 15 runs, 14 walks and just two hits.
The Rays put a four-spot on the board in the top of the first. However, The Mets, disciplined at the dish, drew nine walks in the bottom of the frame and capitalized on a pair of Rays’ errors to plate 11 runs. They never trailed going forward. It was 16-12 after three innings.
“The kids kept their composure,” Ordaz said. “The calls were going both ways, but it made for kind of a boring game. I told them to take until they got a strike. We had to play the game the way we needed to to win.”
• The Gilroy Little League boys Juniors Giants baseball team capped the regular season in style with an 11-1 victory over the GLL Mets to claim the league championship last Tuesday.
The Giants, sponsored by Fortino Winery, had a stellar season, finishing with a 13-3 record heading into the championship. Manager, Rick Cook celebrated the victory for the second time in a row, winning last year’s title with his White Sox team.
Cook had strong support this year from coaches, Jeff Citti, Bryan Large and Joel Sanders.
The Giants were the No. 1-seed entering the Tournament of Champions playoff, but were upended by the same Mets team in the semifinals.
The Gilroy Little League 10-year-old National All-Star baseball team is off to a quick 2-0 start in the District 59 tournament, picking up victories against Eastridge Little League 5-2 on Saturday and 17-0 over North Valley on Tuesday.
In Saturday’s close encounter, the team was led by the pitching and hitting performances of Jake Jensema and Aidan Lee. Sean Fernald kept the locals in the game with key defensive plays at shortstop, and Connor Villanueva played well behind the plate. The defensive efforts didn’t stop there as Zach Buessing made a great running catch in right field to end the game and secure the victory.
In the blowout on Tuesday, the bats backed up the strong defense. Christopher Gorgulho and Buessing gave Gilroy the 3-0 lead in the first inning with RBI singles, scoring Sean Fernald, Aidan Lee and Jake Jensema. Gilroy scored three more in the second inning with back-to-back doubles by Joseph Cupp and CJ Colyer. Villanueva drove in Colyer with a single and Josiah Arzola drove in the third run. Gilroy broke the game wide open in the third inning scoring 11 runs. Key hits by Tyler Soseman, Alex Shipman and J.T. Zollinger put the game out of reach. Gilroy Nationals play their next game Sunday at Milpitas Sports Complex at 11 a.m.