Freedom New Mexico
DEMING — Albuquerque Eastdale captured the state 10-11 Little League championship Friday night, edging Roosevelt County 1-0.
Roosevelt County forced a second championship game in the double-elimination tournament on Thursday night by posting a 10-7 victory over Eastdale. Portales made a determined run through the losers bracket after dropping its second game in the meet to Carlsbad.
Coach Sammy Villanueva said his team was able to hang in with the Albuquerque squad.
“Even though we lost, I’m not disapppointed,” Villanueva said. “We were the small team from teeny, tiny Portales, and look at the noise we made.”
Villanueva said his team played solid defense behind pitcher Ray Ornales to help keep the game close.
“I told the kids to play hard and take it to the sixth inning,” he said. “They did everything that I asked. They did something that no one thought that they could do.”
Roosevelt County was able to get a number of runners on base during the contest, but couldn’t come up with the key hit to reach the scoreboard.
“We were hitting the ball, but their defense was great,” Villanueva said.
“The team played with a lot of heart. I don’t know if we ever had a group of kids fight this hard.”