CMNLL keeps Mayor's Cup

Little League

Brown's pitching, hitting help Costa Mesa National win rubber match over Costa Mesa American.

July 19, 2011|By Matt Szabo,
(Kevin Chang / Daily…)

COSTA MESA — Connor Brown sprawled out during team pictures after the game, his right elbow resting on the mound on which had he just turned in a dominating performance.

Soon he had the Mayor's Cup in his hands. He took the trophy into the outfield at Costa Mesa High, planting a couple of kisses on it for effect.

"I just see it on SportsCenter a lot," Brown said, grinning.

Nobody questioned it, and nobody had to ask what Brown could do for the Costa Mesa National Little League All-Stars. The right-handed pitcher came up huge, helping Costa Mesa National defeat Costa Mesa American, 2-0, Tuesday in the third and deciding game of the annual Mayor's Cup.

Costa Mesa National won the Mayor's Cup, which began in 1997, for the fifth straight year. Brown was a big reason why after he threw 5 1/3 shutout innings, allowing just two hits. He struck out eight and walked just one.


"We had a talk before the game," Costa Mesa National Manager Cisco Rios said. "I said, 'This is your last game ever. You've got to step up. Do you want to go out a winner or do you want to go out a loser?' I think he proved it on the mound that he wanted to win this game."

It was the third time in six days Brown had matched up with his Costa Mesa American counterpart, Evan Larsen. Larsen got the better of the matchup Thursday, striking out 13 in a one-hit shutout as Costa Mesa American took the first game of the Mayor's Cup, 2-0. But Costa Mesa National rallied for a 2-1 victory Saturday, setting up the rubber match.

Costa Mesa American Manager Eric Larsen said his son and Brown also pitched against each other in a travel-ball game Saturday in Fountain Valley. Neither pitcher factored into that decision in the game matching Brown's 5-Star Dirtdogs team and Evan Larsen's Blue Wave squad.

Brown certainly factored into Tuesday's win. He did so at the plate as well, where he was two for two with a double. He drove in both Costa Mesa National runs, the first coming in the top of the first inning when his single to right scored Matt Palma.

He struck again in the fourth inning after Noah Mayne, the son of former Major League Baseball catcher Brent Mayne, was hit by a pitch with one out.

Brown fouled off two pitches with a 2-2 count before stroking a hard-hit double through the infield, all the way to the wall in right-center. Costa Mesa American appeared to have a play on Mayne at the plate, but the throw was off-line.

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