SAN ANGELO — Big Spring's Senior League All-Stars were eliminated in their second match-up against San Antonio Capitol Park on Saturday by a score of 10-1 at the Texas Sports Complex, but the 15 and 16-year olds comprising the squad can hold their heads high. The team finished third in the entire state and put together the longest postseason run of any Big Spring Little League roster on record.
In Saturday morning's elimination game against South Garland, Adam Franco engaged in a pitching duel with the opposing hurler. The offense began making noise in the fifth.
Ryan Pearson and Gary Watkins were beaned, Josh Gutierrez drew a walk and Blaze Yeater singled to put the first Big Spring run on the board. Garrett Kligora hit a ball to the Garland short stop, who bobbled it on the play, allowing two more run to cross the plate.
Garland tied it at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth, which eventually led to extra innings.
Kligora led off the eighth by taking a base on balls, then was sacrifieced to second. Jesse Cervantes drew a walk, putting runners on first and second. Jacob Valdez capitalized with a base hit to score Kligora. Franco drove singled Cervantes and Valdez home, giving Big Spring a 6-3 advantage heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Garland made interesting when they added a run off of winning pitcher Garrett Kligora, but Brayden East came into the game as a reliever and struck out the final batter and keep Big Spring's run alive.
Things went south from there, however.
A scrappy Capitol Park team was was waiting to play Big Spring for the second time in the tournament and once again, proved too much to handle.
Three total hits — two by Pearson and one by Kligora — wasn't enough offense to hold off Capitol Park.
Gutierrez's sacrifice fly in the fifth led to the lone Big Spring run, but it wasn't enough, as Capitol dominated Big Spring at the plate, ending its improbable season.
“We're proud of the way our kids handled themselves,” Big Spring Little League President Robert Smith said. “We showed that a town our size can compete with the big boys. The other three teams at the tournament were from towns with a population larger than 100,000. Our players left it all on the field. Big Spring Little League is very proud and the people of Big Spring should be proud.”