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Rockies claim Northgate juniors title in extra innings
Northgate Little League juniors
Nathan De La Cruz of the Rockies slides safely into second as Ricky Cabudoy of the A’s leaps for the ball and Drew Salmeron backs up the play. - photo by Dave Campbell

After the A’s tied the game with a ferocious late-game comeback Thursday, Nathan De La Cruz of the Rockies scooted home on a two-out wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning for the 5-4 walk-off win and the Northgate Juniors championship at Morenzone Field.

Trailing 4-0 going into the sixth inning, the A’s closed to within 4-3. With two outs Ayden Burns came in on a double by Ricky Cabudoy (RBI, double, run), Cabudoy scored on a double by Drew Salmeron (2 for 3, RBI, double, run) and Isaiah Ahio (2 for 4, RBI, double) doubled in Salmeron.

The Rockies were within one pitch of ending the game in the seventh inning. With two outs and two strikes on the batter, Randy Lee of the A’s drew a pickoff attempt at third that sailed to the fence, allowing Lee to scoot home and tie the game at 4-4.

The Rockies took a 2-0 first-inning lead. Damian Densmore (2 for 5, run) reached on an error to lead off the frame and was singled in by De La Cruz (2 for 5, RBI, three runs). De La Cruz scored on a Felix Rodriguez groundout.

The Rockies bumped their lead to 4-0 in the third inning. De La Cruz reached on an error and scored on a single by Rodriguez (two RBI, run). Rodriguez scored from second on a sacrifice bunt by Landon Sanders when home plate was left uncovered.

De La Cruz pitched 4.2 shutout innings, striking out six and allowing three hits. Lee pitched six innings, striking out seven and allowing six hits. Two of the four runs he was tagged with were unearned.   

The Rockies will compete in the District 67 Tournament of Champions beginning on Saturday, June 17.