Southeast snaps losing streak, wins city championship (video)
AAA Concrete Victoria Southeast defeated Optimists International Victoria Northeast 11-7 to win the Victoria Little League City Championship Tuesday at the Victoria Youth Sports Complex.
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It had been over a decade since a team from the Southeast zone won the Victoria city championship.
That streak ended Tuesday night when Southeast AAA Concrete defeated Northeast Optimists International 11-7 at Colortyme Field.
"It's awesome. These kids did it all themselves," AAA Concrete manager Alex Gutierrez said. "They had their backs against the wall from the first game and have come out fighting. It was a great job by them.
"Winning the championship for the city of Victoria is awesome. I hope it doesn't stop here. We're going to try and continue this at the next level."
The Southeast victory wasn't the only streak that came to an end. A team from the Northeast zone had captured the past two city championships.
But Tuesday night, nothing could stop AAA Concrete's offense.
AAA Concrete had 15 hits, kicking things off early with a pair of lead off singles by Zachary Shannon (3 for 3) and Xander Mahan (3 for 4, 2 RBI).
Hitting has been something Gutierrez has emphasized in practices all season long, but even more so in the week leading up the city championship playoffs.
"We started this past week, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and they even came in on Saturday for batting practice," Gutierrez said. "We've been working on bats all season long, but we put a lot of emphasis on it this week."
While AAA Concrete's offense was running full speed, the pitching and defense were just as solid.
Raymond Martinez and Mahan combined to allow Optimists International just nine hits. Martinez took a no-hitter into the third inning and finished the night with six hits in four innings pitched and five strikeouts. Mahan finished the final two innings with only three hits and two strikeouts.
"Martinez is 12 years old and is an awesome pitcher," Gutierrez said. "Mahan helped us win last night and he did it again tonight."
AAA Concrete got on the scoreboard in the second inning when Jasper Gonzales (1 for 2, RBI) scored on one of two errors by Optimists International. Mahan also drove in a pair of runs in the inning to give his team a 3-0 lead.
After Martinez dodged a bases loaded threat in the bottom of the second, AAA Concrete turned around in the third inning and made it 5-0 when Gonzales and Javier Chapa (1 for 2, RBI) each drove in a run.
Down by five runs, Optimists International finally crossed home plate in the third on a double to left field by Marc Anthony Gonzales (1 for 2, 2B, RBI) that scored D.J. Cavazos (2 for 2, 2 BB).
After allowing AAA Concrete a pair of runs in the fourth, Optimists International cut the deficit to three runs with two runs scored in the fourth and one in the fifth.
However, a big sixth inning by AAA Concrete that began with five singles and four runs scored would be too much for a late-game comeback.
"They don't have any quit in them," Gutierrez said. "It was the same thing last night. If you want to win these championship games, you can't have any quit in you."
Zachary Ortega smashed a two-run double to center field that made the score 11-7, but a ground out one batter later gave AAA Concrete the city championship.
Southeast 11, Northeast 7
SE 032 204 11 15 1
NE 001 213 7 9 2
WP: Raymond Martinez; LP: Kaleb Coffey. Highlights: SE: Zachary Shannon 3-3, 4R; Xander Mahan 3-4, 2 RBI, Mason Longoria 2-2, R; Javier Chapa 1-2, RBI, BB; Jasper Gonzalez 1-2, RBI. NE: Ray Chamberlain 2-3, 2 RBI; D.J. Cavazos 2-2, 2BB; Marc Anthony Gonzales 1-2, RBI, BB; Kaleb Coffey 2-4, 2B, RBI.