The CDO Little League 10-11 Baseball All-Stars won the state championship on Tuesday night with a 16-11 win over Ahwatukee.
CDO jumped out to a 4-0 lead, in part to a Dominic Felix two-run home run, but was up just 4-2 when they used a seven-run third inning to push the lead to nine. The long ball was again a factor. Dante Schindler led off the inning with a rocket to left field and two batters later Mac Kochanski added a two-run shot.
“We got a lot of runs that inning,” Kochanski said. “The home runs really put us through to win the game.”
Ahwatukee answered with four runs in the bottom of the third, but CDO had three runs in the fourth, courtesy of a Jayden Bracy three-run homer.
“I just let it and it felt good to give us a better chance at winning,” said Bracy, who teammates have taken to calling ‘Beast Bracy’.
Bracy knew the minute he made contact that the deep shot to left was out of the park.
“I was very confident at the plate and my dad tells me it is important to be confident,” Bracy said.
Ahwatukee was undaunted. They got a three-run home run of their own, part of a four-run fifth.
Up 15-10, CDO tacked on another run on a Jared Aykroyd RBI single. After the first two Ahwatukee batters reached in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a lead-off homer and a walk, Aykroyd got the call to try and close out the game. He got three quick outs, including a high pop fly in front of the plate that he fielded. Although pitchers are not supposed to field that ball, Aykroyd had also caught earlier in the game and those instincts took over.
Hayden Palmer pitched into the third. He was strong the first two innings, but seemed to start to tire in the third. Palmer had been one of the team’s workhorses over the summer. He struck out four batters in 2 2/3 innings and got the win for CDO.
A more detailed game story will appear in next week’s Explorer News.