As one of the few eleven-year-olds in Majors, Cole Harper has quietly contributed a stellar season largely in the shadows of his twelve-year-old teammates, but on Monday night when his teammates needed him most Cole put the team on his back and carried the Diamondbacks to a much-needed, 13-11 playoff win over the Cubs!
Cole reached base all four times at bat and scored three runs to help the visiting Diamondbacks take what seemed a commanding 13-4 lead into the bottom of the sixth, but then the roof caved in. The Cubs strung together a series of seeing-eye singles punctuated emphatically by a couple of massive hits from Mateo Mackiewicz and Nic Brae. Suddenly seven runs had scored, two pitchers had been chased, and the Cubs bench and fans were at full volume sensing a comeback win. Into the teeth of this storm strode Cole Harper, who took the mound and calmly coaxed three outs out of the Cubs 1-2-3 hitters and saved the victory for a relieved Diamondbacks squad.
For the Diamondbacks, Donovan Capozzola contributed two difficult and crucial defensive plays at first base and Telmo Corral turned in a brilliant starting pitching performance, allowing only one run in 3 and 1/3 innings on just 41 pitches. The Cubs' John Duffy also looked good on the mound, with an effective eighty-five pitch middle-relief stint that kept the game in reach for the Cubs after a fast Diamondbacks start.
Both teams enjoyed strong efforts from call-ups. Franco Correa and Jake Dox played for the Cubs while the Diamondbacks had Wesley Wang and Sullivan Townley, as well as Ian Malishka, who played well on defense and scored a run for the Diamondbacks in his call-up debut.
The Diamondbacks advance to play the Dodgers on May 23, with a spot in the Championship Game on Closing Day on the line, while the losing team will play the Cubs on May 29.
Another outstanding LBLL regular season has wrapped up with the Majors Dodgers (5-10), Intermediate Dodgers (14-4) , and Minors Giants (12-1) all clinching their respective divisions. But without question they are not resting on their laurels. Every team in the league has already moved on and started their preparations for the 2019 Playoffs!
The Lunada Bay Little League Field will be buzzing for the next two weeks as the community gathers to eat some great food -- thanks to Lunada Bay Market & Deli -- and witness some exciting can’t-miss baseball. Join us to cheer on all the young ballplayers that have put in so much work since February to get to this point and are ready to go all in -- and make some memories that will last a lifetime!
2019 Playoff information, including brackets, schedules and results can be found here.
It has been a great 2019 Spring season at Lunada Bay Little League so far. The park continues to be the best place on the hill for families to gather, kids to commiserate, and the entire community to enjoy some great baseball by the Bay - especially with playoffs in the air!
The coming days look to be especially entertaining as teams in contention scramble to fit in rain-out-rescheduled games in efforts to overtake one another. In the Majors division the Cubs look to make a run at the first place Majors Dodgers in a frantic final 3-games -- including a head-to-head against the Dodgers on Thurs and a Sat doubleheader vs the Diamondbacks. The very competitive Intermediate division looks to come down to a final game between the Dodgers and Angels -- two of the best Intermediate teams on the entire hill this year. The Minors Giants have locked up their regular season division title with a dominating 12-1-0 record.
However, everything is wiped clean and the hottest teams look to capitalize as the playoffs kick off this Saturday beginning with the Minors division. Game 1 features the first place Minors Giants vs the Minors Angels at 9:00am on the Minors Field. The entire two-week playoff schedule can be found here culminating with the all three division championship games on Saturday, June 1.
Closing day will be capped off with the annual Diamond Ball event that evening.
There truly is no better place to be than at Lunada Bay Little League park this time of year. So mark your calendars, invite your friends and family, and come on out to enjoy some good food and great company and cheer on all of our LBLL teams!