News from Around Banderas Bay | August 2009
|Puerto Vallarta Little League Season Ends, Sage Hill, Banderas News, Los Angeles are Champions|
Bob Cohen - PVNN
The Little League season in Puerto Vallarta came to a conclusion Saturday, August 1st, about six weeks after its scheduled ending date. Lic. Cesar Macias, the Puerto Vallarta Director of Sports and other City officials were on hand to watch the final game between the Sage Hill Lightning and Los Limones from the 9-11 year old category. Prior to the game the two teams lined the fist and third baselines and recited the official Little League creed in Spanish and then it was time to "Play Ball."
|This was the play of the game. Los Limones closed the lead to 9-7 and a perfect throw and tag ended the rally and inning.|
|The final pitch of the game and season on the way that was swung on and missed as relief pitcher Enrique Cortez struck out the side in the final inning.|
|In a show of sportsmanship both teams shook hands and congratulated each other at the end of the game.|
|After the congratulations, the Sage Hill Lightning made a dash for the last time around the bases in celebration of a well earned championship.|
|The Sage Hill Lightning, Champions of the 9-11 year old division of the Puerto Vallarta Little league.|
|Los Limones, the sub champions pose for a team photo after the game and after a fine season.|
|Lic. Cesar Macias, the Director of Sports for Puerto Vallarta presents sportswriter Bob Cohen for his efforts in promoting and supporting bringing Little league back to Puerto Vallarta.|
|Cesar Macias presents the championship plaque of recognition to the Sage Hill Lightning.|
|Cesar Macias presents Little League President Miguel Vargas with a certificate of recognition for his hard work for the Little league.|
The 12 -14 year old championship game was also scheduled to be played with BanderasNews and Los Angeles tied 3-3 with this being their final game. The two teams could not field enough players as both had many away on summer vacation, although the coaches called every player to try to insure a championship game would be played. After debate whether the two would be either finalists or champions, the decision was made to crown both teams as champions.
To recap how the teams got to the final Saturday, Los Limones had the best regular season record at 5-1 with Sage Hill tied for second at 4-2. In the second week of the season way back in March, Los Limones defeated Sage Hill 12-2. Later came the two month delay and the second half of the season when play resumed was changed to a playoff system. Los Limones defeated the PV Yankees in two straight games and Sage Hill knocked off Viejo Vallarta in two games to reach the finals.
Last week Sage Hill flexed their muscles and crushed a depleted Los Limones squad 19-2 in a game that ended after five innings due to the "mercy rule". Some of the Los Limones key players are on summer vacations with families but the Sage Hill team was intact. Sage Hill also practiced out in Bucerias every day during the week for the last month and it showed that practice, especially for young growing kids pays off.
The scenario was this; if Sage Hill won Saturday's game, they would be crowned champions. If Los Limones won then the teams would take a short break and then complete a doubleheader, the final game would be for the championship. Saturday happened to be the hottest day of the year, there was no wind and the air was heavy and humid and the heat index reached 125 Fahrenheit or 51 Celsius. The actual thermometer was 98 F or 37 C according to weather reports and only the young kids would be left standing in such prolonged heat.
Los Limones batted first this week against last week's pitching star Henry Gaciel but they got two runs on two hits in the first inning and appeared to be a better team at the plate this week. The powerful Sage Hill lineup came to bat in the bottom of the first and with one out, first baseman Miguel Angel blasted a two run home run to tie the game, then a series of base on balls and wild pitches scored more runs and the starting pitcher was pulled. The first relief pitcher recorded a strikeout to end the inning, but plenty of damage was as the Lightning scored nine times to take a 9-2 lead after one inning.
It appeared that the game would be similar as the prior week's game and Los Limones scored once in the top of the 2nd inning but held Sage Hill scoreless in the bottom of the second to close to 9-3. Los Limones came to the plate in the 3rd inning determined to make a run at the Lightning and scored two quick runs on two hits and Gaciel was relieved by Enrique Cortez after he issued two more walks. A double scored two more runs with two outs and the batter was thrown out at third trying to stretch the hit to a triple by a perfect throw, ending the inning and cutting short the big rally. Los Limones closed the once large lead to 9-7 heading to the bottom of the 3rd inning. It should be noted that in the top of the third, two runners were thrown out by perfect throws that kept Sage Hill in the lead.
If Sage Hill got nervous with their opponents closing the lead and tightening the game, the team seemed oblivious that the game was close. The first eight kids that batted, all reached base and five scored before an out was recorded in the top of the 4th inning. Then Miguel Angel came to the plate and blasted a grand slam that extended the lead to 18-7. It was his second homer of the game and his 6th RBI. The Lightning added another run and after three innings it was 19-7 in favor of sage Hill.
The "mercy rule" comes into play after four innings are played as some thought that the game was over, but Los Limones had to bat in the top of the 4th inning and be held to two runs or less for the game to be called a victory. With Cortez on the mound, he didn't allow his team to make a play in the field. He struck out all three batters he faced and the Sage Hill Lightning was popping corks of cola bottles as the champions of the PV Little League. Miguel Angel was named the game's MVP. He came to the plate four times, hit two homeruns, walked twice, drove in six runs and scored four times. Congratulations to the Sage Hill Lightning.
After the game, Lic. Cesar Macias and League President Miguel Vargas handed out plaques of recognition to the teams that finished in the top three of their divisions and gave short speeches on the sound system set up at the first base dugout. I have the letters of recognition signed by the League and City officials for all the sponsors and will deliver them to the sponsors that are in town and hold onto those that aren't here. Feel free to contact me at Bob@BanderasNews.com.
We thank all sponsors, the City of Puerto Vallarta, Miguel Vargas, Oscar Mercado and the many that have been mentioned in previous articles HERE for their support, allowing Little League to come back to Puerto Vallarta.
Now we will take a week off and start to plan for next season.
Your support provides endless benefits for Banderas Bay area kids, who will develop the qualities of citizenship, discipline, teamwork and physical well-being by participating in Puerto Vallarta Little League Baseball. To learn how you can help, send an email to Bob Cohen at bob(at)banderasnews.com, Miguel Vargas at tacos.park(at)hotmail.com or Oscar Mercado at mercadooscar(at)hotmail.com. For more information about Puerto Vallarta Little League Baseball, click HERE.