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19

Aug, 2021

2021 DICK'S Sporting Goods PONY League World Series Championship

CHAMPIONSHIP: Brownsville, TX 11, Youngstown, OH 10 

 Brownsville, TX owned a four run and three run lead at multiple points of the 2021 DICK’s Sporting Goods PONY League World Series Championship Game, but Youngstown, OH found ways to tie the game both times. Ultimately, it was Brownsville scoring two runs in the top of the eighth and a championship clinching catch by Jorge Garza Jr. in the bottom of the eighth that allowed Brownsville to hoist its first DSGPLWS Championship, defeating Youngstown 11-10.

Alexis Lopez led the offensive charge for Brownsville, going 4-for-4 with four runs scored and two RBI. Ruben Lopez added three hits in five at-bats, with four RBI and three runs scored.In the top of the first, Youngstown’s first baseman, Hunter Garvin, made a heads up play to throw out Alexis Lopez, who led off the game with a single, at home plate, after Nehemiah Garcia beat out a 6-4-3 double play, to complete an inning ending 6-4-3-2 double play.

 Carter Wilson singled up the middle to give Youngstown a 1-0 lead in the first inning, after an error and a dropped third strike extended the inning.

Brownsville also took advantage of an error and struck for four runs in the top of the second. 

Miguel Soto tied the game when he came around to score on an errant throw by Youngstown’s pitcher. Then, Alexis Lopez hit a two-out, two-RBI double, and Jorge Garza Jr followed with a single to plate Lopez, giving Brownsville a 4-1 lead.

Wilson narrowed the margin to 4-2 in the bottom of the third with his second RBI single of the night. Jake Rynd made it a one run game later that inning with a two-out single that dropped into right field.

Brownsville added some cushion in the top of the fourth on Ruben Lopez blasted a three run home run over the left field fence, to push their lead to 7-3.

The cushion was short lived, as Youngstown rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fourth to bring it right back to a one run ballgame.

Two walks started the inning off for Youngstown, then a fielder's choice loaded the bases when Jacob Hayes beat out the throw to second. Brownsville came back to turn a double play, but surrendered a run to achieve that.

With two-outs, Wilson drove in his third run of the night, this time with a double, while Quinn Meola and Dom Cubellis followed with singles to bring the score to 7-6. 

Two errors on one play pushed two runs across for Brownsville in the top of the sixth, making it 9-6.

A wild throw from Youngstown’s third baseman, with runners on first and second, allowed Alexis Lopez to score from second and then another errant throw, this time by the right fielder into the catcher, brought Ruben Lopez across the plate. 

Youngstown erupted for three runs in the bottom half of the sixth and sent the 2021 DSGPLWS Championship to the last inning tied.

Garvin walked, Wilson doubled, and Meola reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases with no outs. An error plated the first run in the next at-bat, and Jake Rynd followed with a two-run, game-tying line drive single to center field.

Jeremiah Vela settled in to get the next batter out, and close out the frame by throwing a huge strikeout, with the bases loaded, to keep the game tied.

Owens sat down Brownsville quietly in the top of the seventh.

Garvin walked to start Youngstown’s seventh inning, then beat out a fielder's choice to second base, and Meola singled to load the bases with no outs. Cubellis hit a fly ball to right field that had the opportunity to be a walk-off sacrifice fly, but both the runners on second and third failed to tag up. Brownsville’s right fielder, Rudy Gomez, made the catch and fired to second base to turn a double play on the non-tagging baserunner.

A groundout to second in the next at-bat sent the game to extra innings.

Alexis Lopez led the eighth off with a double down the left field line, then two batters later Ruben Lopez singled home Alexis to give Brownsville the lead. Nehemiah Garcia added, what proved to be a much needed, insurance run on a double off the left field wall in the next at-bat.

Youngstown made a comeback bid in the bottom half, when they got the bases loaded with one out. Garvin brought them within one on a sacrifice fly out. 

Carter Wilson, who ended the night 4-for-6 with three runs scored and three RBI, hit a sinking line drive to centerfield, that could have tied the game, but Jorge Garza Jr dove and ended the game by making a phenomenal, championship winning catch.

Vela closed out the final three innings to earn the win for Brownsville. Meanwhile, Owens threw five innings in relief and struck out 11, receiving the tough loss for Youngstown.

Brownsville finished the week with a 5-1 record. After winning a 10 inning contest to open its World Series against San Jose, CA, Brownsville got sent to the loser’s bracket with a 3-2 loss to Johnstown. It downed Manchester, NH, then rattled off back-to-back wins against Johnstown to advance to the finals. The win in the championship was the first loser’s bracket team to win the PLWS since 2001.

Youngstown’s tremendous run ends with a runner up finish. The Host Area Runner Up went 3-1, with two wins over Washington County, PA and one over Bayamon, Puerto Rico, while falling tonight in the finals to Brownsville.

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