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Lakeside nips Lincoln in Section 4 Tournament final

By: Joshua Gutierrez/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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SACRAMENTO — Lakeside Little League’s Major all-star team trailed Lincoln all the way down to its last strike in the Section 4 Tournament championship game Wednesday night at Tahoe Tallac.

But Dante Tafoya scored the tying run on a passed ball in the bottom of the sixth, and Kevin Riley’s run-scoring single in the seventh defeated Lincoln 6-5.

“I wanted to get the run in,” Riley said of his approach in the final at-bat. “And hit it as hard as I could.”

Lakeside trailed 4-0 and failed to get a runner into scoring position until Riley launched a two-run homer in the fourth. Lincoln increased its lead to 5-2 when pinch runner Justin Kraft scored on a dropped third strike in the fifth.

Kenny LeBeau answered for Lakeside with a two-run shot in the bottom half.
With Lincoln leading 5-4, the stage was set for a remarkable sixth inning.

Lakeside found itself in trouble when Lincoln loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. LeBeau came on in relief and on his first pitch fielded a hard comebacker. He started a 1-2-3 double play, and Lakeside escaped the inning unharmed when the next batter grounded out.

Down to its last out in the home half, Collin Stanaway started Lakeside’s rally with a single. Dante Tafoya pinch ran for Stanaway and moved to second when Kyle Sisco reached on an error. A passed ball put the runners at second and third.

A second passed ball sent Lincoln catcher Charles Middleton scurrying for the ball as Tafoya broke for home. The throw to the pitcher covering the plate beat Tafoya, but the collision jarred the ball loose. That tied the score at 5 and sent the game to extra innings.

Lincoln had a runner on second with no outs in the seventh, but LeBeau needed just five more pitches for a strikeout and two groundouts.

In the home half, Lakeside’s Brandon Chinnapongse hit a 2-1 offering to the fence in right for a leadoff triple.

“I was scared at first,” the fleet-footed Chinnapongse said. “But then I was relieved. … I knew they could bring me in.”

Chinnapongse’s faith was well grounded. Lincoln intentionally walked LeBeau and Jade Foddrill to load the bases and set up a force at home, but Riley singled in the winning run.

“They stuck it out,” Lakeside manager John LeBeau said. “All the credit goes to them. They were awesome.”

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA DIVISION 2 TOURNAMENT

When/Where: Lakeside plays Quito of Los Gatos at 2 p.m. Sunday at Mission San Jose Little League, 503 Lemos Lane, in Fremont.