GREEN VALLEY — Solid pitching is not an anomaly. It’s when the pitcher also scores runs that’s special.
To open the District 53 Little League 11- and 12-year-old All-Star Tournament, Cordelia/Tri-Valley defeated Fairfield Atlantic 7-3 thanks to a strong performance behind the arm and bat of Angad Takhar, Thursday, at the Tri-Valley Little League fields.
Tri-Valley will host Suisun on Friday, at 9 a.m. while Fairfield Atlantic will play East Vallejo at noon, also at Tri-Valley.
Takhar went 6 1-3 innings, passing the 85-limit pitch count, throwing 87. He allowed three runs on eight hits, striking out seven, while walking one. Takhar needed only 17 pitches in the fourth and fifth innings, where he allowed just two hits.
“Angad is an amazing kid,” Tri-Valley manager Pete Arnold said. “He stays relaxed at all times and the moment is never too big for him. The kid is a stud.”
Takhar said he was feeling great from the first pitch he threw, using his fastball and curveball.
Tri-Valley put runs on the board early as Tyler Creekmore earned a walk after a full-count with one out. Takhar then stepped into the box and homered to right-center, the ball drifting over the head of Fairfield Atlantic center fielder Anthony Nakano.
After going down 1-2-3 in the second, Tri Valley put another two runs up in the third when Diego Moreno hit a single up the middle, plating Creekmore and Takhar, both of whom had singled.
After a few slow innings, Fairfield Atlantic plated its first run in the bottom of the third. Johnny Gallegos led off with a double to right-center, advancing to third on a single from Rahmel Hinkle, who was called out at second, after trying to stretch it into a double. Anthony Clemente then drove in Gallegos on a fielder’s choice.
The other two runs came in the bottom of the sixth when Nakano hit a two-bagger, plating Xavier Vasquez and Ryne Richard. The former reached on a throwing error from the the third baseman, while the latter reached on a single that took a late bounce over the shortstop’s head.
That was the end of Takhar’s day as he was relieved by Christian Landers, who came in and closed out the game with nine pitches, striking out the last two batters.
Fairfield Atlantic manager Kevin Reece was optimistic after his team’s performance.
“I was hoping for a different outcome, but I think we are going to pull together,” Reece said. “We had eight hits in the game. We just need to string them together a little better. . . . We made a lot of great plays. We had great plays in the outfield and great plays in the infield. We did a lot of things right.”
Rightfully so, Arnold was also pleased with the way Tri-Valley played.
“Our offense is amazing,” Arnold said. “I have a lot of good hitters and the best is yet to come. We are going to stay aggressive for (Friday’s) game.”