The 12-and-under Encino Little League team (8-0) remained undefeated with a 13-5 victory over El Segundo in the first round of the Southern California North Sub-Divisional.
It didn’t come easy, as Encino had no hits in the first three innings and clawed its way back from a 3-0 deficit in the fourth.
“Normally we get down, but that doesn’t mean anything to us. We always just keep coming back,” said Cameron Bolger.
Mike Cohen led the charge with a two-run homer followed by two-run doubles by Seth Stone and Elijah West to take a 6-3 lead.
“After Mike’s home run, we got a lot of confidence,” said Jack Scher, who added a two-run double in the fifth inning.
The team hit around the lineup in both the fourth and fifth inning scoring all 13 runs in that span.
However, in the top of the fifth inning, El Segundo narrowed the margin to 6-5 and had multiple opportunities to tie the game, but Encino’s defense rose to the occasion making two plays at the plate to save the lead for good.
“The fifth inning was the key. We threw three men out,” said Encino Manager Jeff Cohen.
Mike Cohen blasted a two-run homer to dead center and scored two runs. Scher, Stone and West each blasted two-run doubles. Bolger, Gordon Magruder and Justin Greenwald drove in one RBI each. Bolger, Scher, Jamie Robertson and Blake Hanson each scored twice. Stone, West and Greenwald added one run apiece.
Encino plays La Verne in the second round of the divisional tournament in West Covina on Sunday, July 24 at 4 p.m.
Southern California Divisional Tournament – 2441 East Cortez Street, West Covina
Game 3 – La Verne vs Encino (7/24 – 4 p.m.)
Game 4 – El Segundo vs La Mirada (elim.) (7/24 – 1 p.m.)
Game 5 – Conejo Valley vs Winner 3 (7/25 – 7:30 p.m.)
Game 6 – Loser 3 vs Winner 4 (elim.) (7/25 – 5 p.m.)
Game 7 – Loser 5 vs Winner 6 (elim.) (7/26 – 7 p.m.)
Game 8 – Winner 5 vs Winner 7 (TITLE) (7/27 – 7 p.m.)
Game 9 – If necessary (7/28 – 7 p.m.)
Game 1 – North Bracket Champions vs South Bracket Champions (7/30 – 3 p.m.)
Game 2 – North Bracket Champions vs South Bracket Champions (7/31 – 3 p.m.)
Game 3 – If necessary (8/1 – 7 p.m.)