Stillman was glad his team would have a break from Robinwood left-handed ace Austin Olivas, who pitched into the sixth inning, facing all but three batters. Dustin Wagers closed out the game.
Olivas, who hit a home run and struck out 10, is ineligible to pitch for the rest of the series because of Little League rules designed to save developing arms from overuse.
"He threw good today, and he probably would have beat any of us," Stillman said. "So, now, my ace has beat their pitcher, and then we have to see what happens in Game 3."
Tyler Rios is Costa Mesa's starting pitcher today, Stillman said.
Costa Mesa had three hits in the game, two second-inning doubles and a single in the sixth.
Trevor Borkowski doubled with two outs to drive in Chad Fackler, who had walked and stolen second base.
Borkowski then scored on Ben Beck's RBI double to pull the designated home team even.
Despite limited offense, Costa Mesa had a chance to tie in the bottom of the sixth. Down, 6-2, the team managed to load the bases. Borkowski's serendipitous two-out single infield single to the shortstop hole had Robinwood fans in an uproar, but the first-base umpire ruled Borkowski had beaten the shortstop's throw to first.
Facing his first batter, Wagers walked Jeff Carlyle, and Jake Stone reached on Keegan Reeser's fielding error.
With the bases loaded, Brad Wilson tried his best for a grand slam. A few more feet, and he would have had it, but Wilson flied out to right, and Robinwood fans sighed with relief.
"A big hit would have tied it right there, and we would have been right back there in the game," Stillman said. "He didn't miss it by much. It didn't go that far, but it was pretty high. If he had hit [it] a little more solid, it would have been a home run. A little less height, and a little more on the line, and it would have been good."