NAPA — You can’t get any closer.
The Suisun American Little League Dodgers came within one strike of winning the District 53 Minors Division Tournament of Champions, but allowed two unearned runs on a dropped fly to right field in the bottom of the sixth inning to fall 7-6 to Napa National runner-up Carpet One, Saturday.
Dodgers manager Juan Regalado said the ending was “very tough,” but was please with the way his team played throughout the tournament, defeating regular season champions from Fairfield Pacific, Vallejo and Cordelia/Tri-Valley to reach the title game.
“We’ve come a long way, we played tough teams,” Regalado said. “I’m very proud of my boys. Before the game I said, ‘In my eyes you’ll always be champs.’ ”
The Dodgers (25-2) got on the board first when Matthew Vickroy scored on an error in the top of the first.
After Carpet One scored twice in the bottom of the second, the Dodgers pushed across four runs in the top of the third. Dameion Regalado hit a two-run single and Nicholas Tobin singled in a run with the other tally coming on an error.
Carpet One scored once in the bottom of the fifth and the Dodgers answered in the top of the sixth when Dameion Regalado singled and later came around on an error.
Tobin went four-plus innings, allowing two runs while striking out seven.
Carpet One wouldn’t be denied, however. The Napa team scored on a bases-loaded walk and a fielder’s choice before Erik Kvidahl hit a fly ball to right on an 0-2 pitch.
Dameion Regalado went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and Vickroy also scored twice and Joseph Branscomb once. Tommy Yost had a hit and stole a base, as did Dylan Chrum.
Juan Regalado credited “our hitting” for his team’s good start. “Our kids were focused, ready to play,” he said. “Unfortunately, the last inning, one strike away – it happens.”
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.