APTOS — The Aptos Little League champion Phillies had the hot bats, the home field advantage and the four game winning streak, but the Santa Cruz American champion Red Sox had the arm of Noah Daniels. It turns out that was more than enough.
The Red Sox hitters stacked up the runs and Daniels left the Phillies swinging in a 13-6 win to knock the hosts out of the Tournament of Champions on Monday evening in Aptos.
After going down to the Capitola/Soquel Little League champion Pirates in their first game of the tournament, the Phillies more than just dusted themselves off. They went on a four game winning streak where they won by an average of almost 10 runs. They obliterated Live Oak 22-4, but were given a good game by Pajaro Valley which ended 7-6. Aside from that game, the Phillies were nothing short of dominant. They were able to get revenge against Capitola/Soquel in a 13-3 win and they battered Santa Cruz National 16-6.
However, their bats were lulled to sleep by Daniels on Monday.
The Red Sox pitcher went 4 2-3 innings giving up five hits, three earned runs and only one walk before the Phillies were able to crack his armor and make it a little more respectable in the fifth inning.
Unlike the Phillies past games, it was the Sox who were able to jump out to an early lead in the opening inning. Kinsal Plunkett was able to cross the plate for the game’s first run off of one of Daniels’ four RBIs on the day. Daniels was brought home by Uriel Hernandez to make the score 2-0, and Hernandez was able to make it 3-0 when Scotty Pramuk hit an RBI single.
The two champs swapped runs in the second to push the score to 4-1, but then the Sox took control of the game for good. They scored two in the third inning from a Pramuk double that plated two Red Sox. Once again they traded runs, but with the score 7-2 the Phillies were in too deep of a hole.
The hosts scored four runs in the fifth inning, as they were finally able to make contact on Daniels’ pitches. Cameron Cies, Will Peters, Shane Modena and Alex Taylor were all able to come home and score in the inning to cut the lead down to five, but the Sox answered with two more runs in the next inning to extend the lead to seven where it stayed for the 13-6 finish.
The Sox will now move on to face Scotts Valley Little League, who has gone a perfect 3-0 in the Tournament of Champions, today at Aptos Little League for the Championship. They previously lost to Scotts Valley 10-7 on Saturday.
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