The Nogales Little League Majors All-Stars came up just short in their quest for the Arizona District 8 championship, falling 5-4 to host Sierra Vista in eight innings in Wednesday’s winner-take-all tournament final.
Nogales led 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Sierra Vista mounted a two-out rally to tie the score and send the game into extra innings.
After a scoreless seventh inning, each team began the eighth with a runner on second base, per Little League rules. Nogales couldn’t capitalize in the top of the frame, stranding their leadoff runner at third, but Sierra Vista got an RBI single in the bottom half to walk off with the win.
Denzel Montijo had three hits in the game for Nogales, and Andy Baldenegro had two doubles while also pitching 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball.
Nogales forced Wednesday’s deciding game by beating Sierra Vista on Tuesday, 5-3.
They trailed 3-2 heading into the final inning of that game, but Baldenegro led off the top of the sixth with a home run to tie the score. Nogales went ahead later in the inning on an RBI single by Sebastian Reed, then added an insurance run on a hit by Alec Peral.
Rafael Echeverria got the win, throwing five innings in which he struck out 10 batters, walked three and allowed four hits. Sean Parker pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth to pick up the save.
Nogales started the district tournament by beating San Pedro 8-7 and Bisbee 7-3. A 4-2 loss to Sierra Vista knocked them into the loser’s bracket, but they bounced back to beat Bisbee 3-2 to earn another shot at Sierra Vista.
Little League Majors Division is for kids ages 12 and under.