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Rios' huge RBI gives Brewers title

BASEBALL: Pitcher also delivers game-winning hit that leads to an obstruction call and the end of a thrilling Majors title game.

June 07, 2007|By Jason Kornfeld

COSTA MESA — Every so often in a sporting event, time seems to stand still. For the players in the Costa Mesa National Little League Majors Division championship, that moment came in the bottom the sixth and final inning in a scoreless tie.

As Tyler Rios hit a two-out single to left field, little Nathan Gray, who fans call "Mighty Mouse," ran from second base, past the Marlins' third baseman who was blocking him and slid under the catcher. When the dust settled the Marlins catcher was on top of Gray. The crowd became silent.

"On the obstruction, you score!" the home plate umpire yelled. Brewers' fans rejoiced because the Brewers had just captured the CMNLL Majors championship. The Brewers won 1-0 in a drama-filled pitchers duel Wednesday at TeWinkle Intermediate School.

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"You know what? That was the oddest call I've ever seen, that's all I can say," Marlins Coach Randy Wood said.

Rios, who also pitched, faced off against Aaron Wood for the Marlins. Both pitchers turned in outstanding performances. Both pitched complete games and both fanned nine batters.

"I was getting ahead of the batters, throwing strikes and it just helped me in the game," Wood said.

Teammates doused Rios in water after he picked up the game-winning RBI in addition to getting the victory for pitching.

"Yeah I was trying to at least put the ball in play and see what happens," Rios said. "I'm just happy to win the championship."

In the bottom of the sixth, the Brewers' first two batters struck out. Nathan Gray came up to the plate, worked the count in his favor and was awarded first base.

Royce Friedmann then had his head nicked by a pitch and took first base, moving Gray to second. Rios then came to the plate and drilled the pitch to left field.

"We got lucky he ran into the runner on third base," Brewers Coach Cisco Rios said. "You got to give it to Aaron Wood, man; he pitched a great game against us."

The Brewers were ecstatic that their time finally came.

"We've been in the league seven years and [this is the] first time we came close [and] we pretty much ran the table through the league, so it's very gratifying for us," Coach Rios said.

Both teams will be representing the CMNLL in the Tournament of Champions which begins June 16th.

"Yeah we're already in [the tournament of champions] so honestly this game to us meant nothing," Coach Wood said. "Our goal at the start of the year was to get to tournament of champions."

The Marlins: Matthew Spicer, Daniel Cabrera, Sammy Borkton, Trevor Borkowski, Adam Ward, Lucas De La Torre, Aaron Wood, Kaimon Brust, Daniel Hernandez, Jacob Stone.

The Brewers: Royce Friedmann, Nathan Gray, Brandon Dieckhoff, Dylan Tyler, Nicholas Halloran, Robert Marrone, Cole Mensinger, Jesse Paz, Tyler Rios, Michael Martinez, Eric Molina.


JASON KORNFELD may be reached at (714) 966-4616 or at jason.kornfeld@latimes.com.

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