OTTAWA – The Garden’s Gate Nationals scored three runs in the third inning Saturday night and held on for a 4-3 win over the Sam’s Pizza Rockies in an all-North Side American League Ottawa Little League 12U championship game.
Ky Araujo went 2 for 3 with a run scored from the leadoff spot for the Nationals (19-1), who were appearing in the title game for the third straight year. Araujo also earned a five-out save, with Chandler Creedon (4.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 8 K) earning the win.
The Nationals got on the board in the bottom of the first inning, with Jacob Rosetto taking home after a double steal with runners on the corners.
The Rockies plated two to the take the lead in their half of the third, with Mark Munson (walk) and Easton DeBernardi (single) coming home on a fielder’s choice and a bases-loaded walk, respectively.
But the Nationals roared back in front in the bottom half, with the first three batters reaching base and coming around to score. Jax Carrier’s fielder’s choice RBI gave the Nationals a 4-2 lead.
Needing two runs in the seventh, the Rockies were not finished. Collin Lyons reached on an error and scored on Munson’s RBI single three batters later. The Rockies would load the bases with the help of an intentional walk, but Araujo got a game-ending strikeout to deliver the title to the Nationals.
Ryker Reynolds tallied six strikeouts and allowed four runs in four innings for the Rockies (9-11). Easton DeBernardi finished 2 for 4 with a run scored, Munson was 1 for 2 with an RBI and a run, and Lucas Farabaugh and Jagger Rodriguez added RBIs in the loss.