Facing the defending Super NIT Major champions Tabu, the D-Backs were down 5-2 going into the bottom of the sixth. Abel Ordaz led off with a base hit and stole second. Jason Gavello, having already homered in the first inning, smashed a fastball down the right field line for a triple, scoring Ordaz. Gavello scored on a ground out by Nile Earl and after a strikeout, the D-Backs were down by one run and one out away from defeat.
With the game apparently over, Brodie Garner and Connor Cunningham drew walks and stole bases to keep the inning alive. Kevin Lonergan stepped to the plate, and the Tabu pitcher threw a wild pitch, allowing Garner to score the tying run and Cunningham to advance to third and then score the winning run on the throw to third.
The D-Backs knocked off the best 11U team in Northern California by the score of 6-5 to earn their fourth championship win.
The D-Backs, looking for another championship, traveled to BLD in Redding and dominated the competition, outscoring their opponents 78-18. Their offensive explosion was highlighted by a 13-4 championship game victory over the Bandits from Roseville.
The D-Backs hit four homers in the championship game, including back-to-back-to-back home runs by Ordaz, Earl and Gavello, plus a two-run homer by Cody Maday. They were led at the plate by Rivers (.888, 14 runs, eight stolen bases), Ordaz (.700, 11 runs, eight RBIs, Garner (.750, six runs, seven RBIs) and Lonergan (.500, six RBIs).
Their pitching staff was dominant the whole tournament, led by Rivers, Cunningham and Carlos Rodriguez. The Diamondbacks have solidified their spot as a team to beat in the 11U division in Northern California.
– Contributed by Abel Ordaz