By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Dodgers cap late-season tear with minor-division title
Isaih Ford of the Spreckels Park minor Dodgers gets home Monday before Tigers pitcher Jacob Sandoval can get the ball from catcher Jacob Martinez. The Dodgers eked out a 12-11 win for the league championship. - photo by Dave Campbell

Sometimes, it is not how you start that matters, but how you finish. Just ask the Spreckels Park Little League minor-division Dodgers.

The Dodgers lost their first six games of the season and were forced to play an out-bracket game in the league tournament for the opportunity to play the top-ranked A’s. They not only won that out-bracket contest and then downed the No. 1-seeded A’s, they beat the Tigers three games in a row, including a 12-11 thriller on Monday for the league championship.

But as long as Tigers pitcher Matt Gregoir was in the game, the Dodgers were not. Gregoir retired 10 of the first 12 Dodgers he faced, but he was forced out of the game in the fifth inning due to a maximum pitch count with a 5-1 lead. At that point, the wheels came off the wagon – for both teams.

The Dodgers took advantage of six walks and a hit batter in the fifth to score the inning-maximum five runs to go ahead 6-1. The lone hit of that frame for the Dodgers was a two-RBI single by Gage Cordova and teammate Frankie Romo had a run-scoring sacrifice fly.

Seven walks and two errors led to six runs for the Tigers in the sixth – there is no run limit after the fifth inning – and only a bases-loaded, two-out highlight-reel catch by Dodgers catcher Isaih Ford stopped the bleeding for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers needed six runs in the bottom of the sixth to win, and seven walks, an error and a fielder’s choice later the Dodgers got their sixth run when Ford drew a bases-loaded walk that plated Caden Salas for the walk-off run. 

The Dodgers will open the District 67 Tournament of Champions at Lathrop on Saturday, June 15 against Patterson.