BONITA, Calif. — The Sweetwater Valley Little League all-star team will play its first elimination game in its five tournaments this summer Monday in the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Sweetwater Valley was forced into a elimination game against the team representing Rhode Island’s Cranston Western Little League, the New England Region champion, by Sunday’s 8-4 loss to the all-star team from Texas’ Pearland West Little League.
The loss was Sweetwater Valley’s first after winning its first 17 games.
A watch party for the ESPN2 telecast will be held at 5 p.m. at La Finca d’Adobe, 5202 Bonita Road, in Bonita.
Pearland West, the Southwest Region champion, combined four singles, Raffi Gross’ two-run homer, Zack Mack’s sacrifice fly and three Sweetwater Valley errors for five runs in the top of the third to take a 6-0 lead.
Sweetwater Valley, the West Region champion scored its first run in the bottom of the third when Levi Mendez doubled in Antonio Andrade.
Ben Gottfried hit a two-run homer for Pearland West in the top of the sixth and final inning. Dante Schmid hit a three-run homer for Sweetwater Valley in the bottom of the sixth.
Pearland West opened the scoring in the top of the first. Leadoff hitter Isaac Garcia single to left, advanced to second when Gottfried was hit by a pitch thrown by Andrade and scored on Mack’s single.
Andrade was charged with the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) and five hits in 2 2/3 innings. Gottfried, the Pearland West starter, was the winning pitcher, allowing an unearned run and three hits in 4 2/3 innings, striking out seven and not walking a batter.
A victory today would advance Sweetwater Valley into an elimination game Tuesday against the winner of today’s elimination game between teams representing Kentucky’s Bowling Green Eastern Little League, the Great Lakes Region champion, and South Carolina’s Northwood Little League, the Southeast Region champion.
Sweetwater Valley defeated Bowling Green Eastern, 14-2, on Friday in a game called in the top of the fourth inning because of the 10-run rule.
A loss today would end Sweetwater Valley’s play in the Little League World Series.