Despite scoring first and breaking a tie to lead in the sixth inning, the Encinitas Little League All-Stars team was not able to overcome the Wylie Junior All-Stars team in a 12-8 loss in its first game of the Junior Little League Baseball World Series in Taylor, Mich. on Sunday.
The West team took the early lead in the first inning when Connor Blough scored off Jack Maes’ foul. The Southwest champions from Abilene, Texas answered back in the fourth inning with five runs for a commanding lead.
Balin Valentine’s two-run homer put Wylie in the lead but it was Dash Albus’s three-run homer that put Southwest ahead 5-1. Encinitas answered back with four runs of its own to tie the game in the fourth inning.
Sean Alvarez started the rally with a home run on a fly ball to right field. That was followed by a Cody Martinez’ single to bring in Maes. Noah Simon singled on a line drive to left field on the next play, allowing Tanner McConlogue to score. The rally was capped off by Martinez’ score when Julian Nunez was walked.
Encinitas tacked on two more scores at the top of the sixth to lead the game, but that was short lived. Wylie answered back with seven runs to put the game out of reach.
Alvarez attempted a rally for Encinitas with a one-run homer at the top of the seventh with one out, but Dante Cano came in to put a stop to the rally and recorded the final two outs.
With the loss, Encinitas will play North Saginaw Township Little League, who fell to Rutherfordton Little League, on Tuesday. During pool play, the games are held in a “modified double elimination” format, meaning each team continues to play until it loses twice.