Tuesday’s must-win game was a nail-biter for the Encinitas Little League All-Stars team as it squeaks by with a walk-off win against the Saginaw Township Little League in the Junior Little League World Series in Taylor, Michigan.
The game was tied at 4-4 until the bottom of the seventh inning when Cooper Dulich singled on a line drive bringing in one run for a 5-4 Encinitas win.
“We were confident and we were hopeful for a win,” Encinitas Little League board president Robert Wade said. “We came out strong. It was a tough team we faced — probably one the best team we faced. And our kids kept on battling. It was good to see them battling till the end.”
It was an error by Cooper Dulich off Carter Sullivan’s ground ball that allowed Brady Alverson to score, giving Saginaw Township the lead.
Julia Nunez’s one-run homers on a fly ball to left field tied the game again at 4-4 in the fifth inning. Encinitas was able to hold Saginaw Township at 4-all until the seventh inning for a walk-off win.
With the win, Encinitas stays alive in the tournament but it faces the Wylie Little League team again on Wednesday for another must-win game. Abilene beat Encinitas on Sunday but lost to Kennett Square KAU Little League 11-4 on Tuesday.
Wade said it were walks that contributed to the loss against Abilene. For Wednesday’s game, the team will have a different strategy against Texas. Wednesday’s game starts at 11 a.m. Pacific Time.
Two must-win games are scheduled for today. The national champions from Sydney, Australia (1-1) play the Europe-Africa champions from Brno, Czech Republic (1-1) at 11 a.m. USA Southwest champ Abilene, Texas (1-1) faces Encinitas, California (1-1) at 2 p.m. in a rematch of their Sunday night slugfest.