American 10-11s prevail

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Zia’s Victor Velasquez can’t get the tag down in time on American’s Kordell Tindle at third base during Tuesday’s District 3 10-11 tournament game at Dickenson Field.

By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer

For the second consecutive game, the American All-Stars didn’t do a whole lot at the plate.

They did enough, though, on Monday night to stay alive in the District 3 Little League 10-11 tournament, holding off Zia for a 4-3 win in an elimination game.

Both Clovis squads were blanked by Roosevelt County in their first tournaments games. American will now need to be the Portales-based squad twice to win the double-elimination tourney and advance to state.

The first game is at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Portales.

“Our bats haven’t come alive yet, but I think we’ll come around,” American manager Jay Kelley said. “If we can go up there and hit with them, we’ll be all right. We’ve got a good hitting team.”

American managed only four hits against Zia pitching, but took advantage of eight walks and three hit batsmen to scratch out a win.

Three walks and two hit batters came in the second inning, when American scored twice for a 2-1 lead. In the third, Zack Burrell delivered an RBI groundout and Antonio Hicks beat out an infield single to score Kordell Tindle from third and make it 4-1.

It stayed that way until the sixth, when Zia scored twice and got the tying run on base on Ben Harris’ two-out infield hit. Joseph Ramos then grounded into a 5-4 force to end it.

Hicks, a left-hander, pitched into the sixth and allowed three hits and two runs. Another lefty, David Bautista, replaced him and gave up two more singles.

“We didn’t do enough to win,” Zia manager Dewey Patton said. “We had opportunities (early) and we didn’t score. We just kind of fizzled out.”

Harris and Ramon Castillo each had two hits for Zia. No one had more than one hit for American.

“We (almost) let it get away from us,” Kelley said. “Two times we had bases loaded and didn’t take advantage of it. But our kids held in there and didn’t let (the game) go.”