For the second time in the LBLL Major playoffs the Diamondbacks built a big lead against the Cubs and then had to withstand a furious late Cubs rally to avoid having it slip away. Telmo Corral was finally able to close out the game and preserve a terrific effort from Navraj Singh as starting pitcher. Donovan Capozzola helped lead the Diamondbacks offense by reaching base all four times at bat and scoring twice. For the Cubs, Mateo Mackiewicz and Dash Tyler both reached base all three times at bat and scored twice, including on a long first-inning drive by Mackiewicz. Both teams also enjoyed strong call-up play, with Franco Correa, Wesley Wang, and Sullivan Townley playing for the Diamondbacks and Jake Dox and Stefan Brende playing for the Cubs.
The Cubs see their season end after coming alive to be the hottest team in LB Majors over the final weeks of the season, while the Diamondbacks move on to play the Dodgers in the Championship Game on Saturday at 1:30 pm.
The 2019 Lunada Bay Little League playoffs are off to an exciting start in all three upper divisions. Extremely close games have been the story as all of the teams are giving it their all. Six of eight games played so far have been decided by a mere single run -- and the remaining two games were each decided by only two runs!
The action continues today in an elimination game between the Intermediate Astros and the Intermediate Angels at 5:00 on the Majors Field. Don't miss it!
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.