Casino lurking isn’t the only way to win in northwest Arizona.
Canyon Del Oro Little League’s 10-11 All-Stars turned their Kingman road trip into a cross-town state championship victory, beating Pantano 6-0 on Friday.
After tinkering with his stance to correct an earlier bug, second baseman Hayden May cracked three homers as CDO’s leadoff hitter during the 10-day tourney. He led off last Friday’s first inning with a hard single, and later scored.
“It just came to me, and it felt pretty good,” May said.
CDO’s early rallies turned iconic. Eleven first-inning runs propelled them over Scottsdale Mountain View last Thursday, in a four-inning 21-3 semifinal win.
Team manager Brett Ames said almost every game saw seven CDO batters in the first inning. The team effort helped fuel Tuesday’s third-round four-inning 24-2 slam of Nogales.
“That’s Murderer’s Row when you get that going,” Ames said. “It’s unreal what was produced by (the whole team). Unreal.”
After his team’s bats cleared some breathing room last Friday, pitcher Nick Ames started to feel more confident on the mound and worked toward finishing a three-hit complete game.
But young Ames’ nerves eventually stirred, as CDO pared down to the championship game’s last out.
“I just told myself, ‘Clear your mind and forget everything around you, and just pitch,’” Nick said.
He did, and title ink dried on the books.
“It’s starting to soak in,” Nick said. “It feels really good to be number one in the state of Arizona.”
The youngsters outscored their opponents 83-16 in the state tournament, according to team records. Including scores from local All-Star tourneys, that figure swelled to a 180-20 tally.
“I was surprised, because there were a lot of good teams in (the tournament),” May said of the numbers.
With no regional playoff for their age bracket, the win wrapped CDO’s season.