TRACY — Having already pitched out of a huge jam, Jared Bagley notched two strikeouts in the seventh inning, including one for the final out of the game, to halt Tracy National’s comeback attempt in Spreckels Park’s title-clinching 9-7 win Tuesday at Monticello School.
Spreckels Park is the Little League District 67 Junior All-Star Tournament champion after claiming the rubber match with Tracy National. Up next for Spreckels Park is the Section 6 Tournament which is also held at Monticello School.
Bagley took the mound for Spreckels Park in the fifth inning after Tracy National cut into a six-run deficit. Tracy scored three with no outs due in part to a two-run bases-loaded error.
Bagley gave up a fielder’s choice and a single before retiring the next six batters and eight of the last 10 he faced to end the game.
“It was nerve-racking,” Bagley said. “There were a lot of things running through my mind – like thoughts of walking people and losing the baseball game for us.
“But we came through and got the win and I struck out the guy at the end.”
Three walks and a hit batter sandwiched around Deigo Duarte’s bunt single helped set up RBI singles by Bagley and Hunter Frisk as well as an RBI groundout by Craig Durao to spot Spreckels Park to a 4-0 first-inning lead.
Duarte (2 for 5, double, RBI) doubled in Kenny Wade in the second inning and in the third J.T. Ortiz-Martinez scored on a balk and Rafael Diaz plated Erik Garcia on a fielder’s choice.
Chase Sperbeck had an RBI single in the fifth inning and Wade had an RBI for the last Spreckels Park run the hard way – when he was hit at the plate with the bases loaded.
Getting hit was nothing new for Wade — he was hit four times Tuesday and was beaned throughout the tournament. Wade opened the tournament with a trip to the hospital after getting hit in the first game but bounced back to be a big factor for Spreckels Park.
“I would get hit in almost every game,” Wade said. “Once, twice or even three times.”
After getting dispatched to the consolation bracket last week by Tracy National, Spreckels Park coach Jim Willenbrink knew that getting the two wins over Tracy National he would need to advance to the Section 6 championships would not be easy. He got the first one Monday 13-8 and Tuesday’s came with the tying run at the plate.
“It was a battle,” Willenbrink said. “You have your ups and downs and when you got ahead you just didn’t know because anyone could get five or six runs in an inning.
“And it came down to the last out.”