The El Dorado Hills Majors Indians proudly hold up their championship banner. Courtesy photo

Sports

EDH Indians claim TOC banner

By From page A5 | June 28, 2017

Little League
Tournament of Champions

Majors
El Dorado Hills ‘A’ 9, Roseville West ‘B’ 7
El Dorado Hills ‘A’ 7, Cosumnes River ‘B’ 3
El Dorado Hills ‘A’ 7, Divide ‘A’ 2
El Dorado Hill ‘A’ 9, Hangtown ‘B’ 3
El Dorado Hills ‘B’ 11, Lakeside ‘A’ 6
El Dorado Hills ‘B’ 20, Cosumnes River ‘B’ 3
Juniors
El Dorado Hills 4, Woodcreek 8

Long ball plays factor as El Dorado Hills wins the District 54 title

GRANITE BAY — The El Dorado Hills Majors Indians saved their best for last in Wednesday’s Tournament of Champion’s finals at Feist Park, erupting for 10 runs in their last at bat to overwhelm the Woodcreek Red Sox 11-6 and seize the District 54 banner.

Held to just three hits, El Dorado trailed 2-1 entering the sixth inning. Six hits later, three that left the yard, the Indians held a commanding nine-run advantage. Reese Catching’s lead-off home run to tie was clutch, Matt Oseguera’s grand slam put Woodcreek away and Ethan Lepore added icing with an opposite field solo shot as EDH sent 13 hitters to the plate.

“Down 2-1 we faced the same thing yesterday (behind, last at bat) and I told the kids ‘this is where it becomes fun’ and you could see the energy level in the dugout change and we get the result we got,” EDH coach Dan Lepore said. “This team really played for one another and emotion-wise, always stayed in the middle.”

With triple-digit temperatures, energy was hard to generate but Catchings did with his tournament-leading seventh home run to tie the score, matching his total output from the regular season. Twenty-four hours earlier, his walk-off against the El Dorado Hills Marlins, his second of the game, sent the Tribe to Wednesday’ finals. Against Woodcreek, Catching hit another two home runs, had three RBIs and pitched into the sixth inning, striking out 10 including the side in the fifth.

“I felt great (on the mound) and pitched better as the game went,” Catchings said. “In the beginning we had a couple errors but we came back. This team has a great foundation … we can all hit and we have good pitching. It’s been a fun season, my last in Majors, and definitely my best one.

“To lead off the last inning I knew I had to something to help the team,” Catching added.

After Catchings’ bomb tied the score at 2-2, Oseguera’s and Ethan dropped in singles before Brock Fowler doubled in Oseguera. Quan and Jaden Holmes walked to load the bases for Aden Smelser’s RBI fielder’s choice. After a fly out, Logan Fontana walked and the Red Sox intentionally gave Catchings a free pass — hoping to avoid a possible grand slam — but Oseguera obliged, stepped in and hit one over the right field fence anyway.

“I was very worried and my heart was pumping but I got a fastball, hit it and knew it was out,” said Oseguera of his big slam. “We were confident we’d win coming to our last ups. The championship was on the line … a once in a lifetime opportunity … and this is a day I’ll remember the rest of my life.”

Up 10-2, El Dorado Hills wasn’t done as Ethan Lepore followed Oseguera with a round-tripper to complete the scoring.

“I was down two strikes and I just wanted to hit the ball somewhere to get on but ended up driving it over the fence,” Ethan said. “It feels great to win TOCs … it was a total team effort.”

Behind the plate, Fontana threw out three runners, including a pick-off at first base to end the game.

Note: The El Dorado Hills Major All-Stars have a big game today against the Woodcreek All-Stars. First pitch is at 5 p.m. at Jeff Mitchell Field

Jerry Heinzer

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