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Dirtbags halted by Cardinal

Little League

Costa Mesa National Majors Division team falls to Robinwood, 9-5, in a Tournament of Champions quarterfinal game.

June 13, 2012|By Matt Szabo
  • Costa Mesa National Little League's Brad Siegel, right, looks on after losing to Robinwood in a Majors Division quarterfinal game of the District 62 Tournament of Champions at Wardlow Park in Huntington Beach Wednesday.
Costa Mesa National Little League's Brad Siegel,… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

HUNTINGTON BEACH — Things can change in the blink of an eye in baseball, and the Costa Mesa National Little League Majors Division Dirtbags experienced it this week at the District 62 Tournament of Champions.

On Monday night it was a walk-off hit by Colby Arensdorf, scoring Carson Letterman to give the Dirtbags a thrilling eight-inning victory over the Seaview Phillies, 2-1.

Two nights later Costa Mesa National was caught on the other side of the equation. OK, maybe this time it was two blinks of an eye that hurt the Dirtbags.

The Robinwood Cardinal connected on two big home runs in the second inning and hung on to defeat the Dirtbags, 9-5, in a TOC quarterfinal game at Wardlow Park.

Costa Mesa National Manager Randy Wood was still proud of his team, which entered Wednesday night's matchup on a 10-game winning streak.

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"We started out real slow and let everybody play some different positions," Wood said. "We were losing some games. But, from the middle of the season on, they got it together. They won their last 10 games of the season, most of it in tournament format."

The Dirtbags, wearing the uniforms of their Long Beach State namesakes, fell behind after Robinwood's two-out rally in the second. First it was Rocco Peppi cranking a three-run home run to left to give the Cardinal the edge. Then, after Braden Wylde tripled to right, Dylan Holt connected on a first-pitch, two-run homer to even deeper in left.

The Dirtbags were suddenly down, 5-0.

"That was a tough inning," Wood said. "The first kid got a fastball, and the second one Michael [Aherne] hung a curve. That kid was all over it, a little guy too. But they could hit the ball; you've got to give them credit."

Costa Mesa National would fall behind 6-0 before rallying in the fourth. Arensdorf started it off with an infield single, and Aherne followed with a full-count RBI double to left, scoring pinch-runner Sage Taylor.

After Connor Walsh drew a walk, Robinwood pitcher Holt induced an infield popout. But the throw to second got away, and Aherne scored to trim the lead. Walsh then scored on a wild pitch, bringing the Dirtbags within 6-3.

Costa Mesa National added another run in the fifth, when Letterman's double to left scored Brad Siegel. But Robinwood intentionally walked Arensdorf, the next batter.

Arensdorf's mother, Heather, voiced her displeasure with the decision. After the game, her son said he was also disappointed.

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