Spring Valley Little League’s Marco Gutierrez hit a grand slam in the second inning to produce the final runs of an 8-3 Section 7 12-and-under Little League Baseball All-Stars tournament game victory over Lakeside American Little League on Saturday at Fletcher Hills Little League.
The District 66 champs trailed entering their turn at the plate in the frame but exploded to assume the five-run lead, capped by Gutierrez’s homer just right of center field.
From there the pitching took over, holding both offenses in check for the remainer of the contest.
Lakeside American remained alive in the tournament with a 7-1 win over District 22 champion Imperial Little League on Sunday at FHLL.
The win for the LALL All-Stars set up a rematch last Monday night with Spring Valley, which fell to Sweetwater Valley Little League, representing national power District 42 Little League, 16-0, on Sunday. The representative for D42 has won 10-straight section titles and hasn’t lost a section tournament game in seven years.
On Tuesday, Sweetwater Valley was to meet the winner of the game between East County foes SVLL and LALL in the section championship game. A deciding game, if necessary, was to take place on Wednesday evening. All section games are being hosted by Fletcher Hills Little League.
Prior to the opening game of the section tournament, former Little League World Series champion Chico Leonard, who played for the 1961 world champion La Mesa Northers (now FHLL) threw out the ceremonial first pitch to his grandson, Ty, who is a member the LALL All-Stars.
Lakeside American advanced to the section tourney by winning the championship game of the District 41 tournament over Rancho de Oro on a walk-off hit, 4-3, on July 8.
Nathan Brzezinski hit a bloop single to left with runners at first and second in the bottom of the sixth for the game-winning RBI, snapping the two-year reign of RDO as section champs.