A walk-off home run isn't typically considered a consolation prize, but for Latin America Region Champion Aguadulce Cabezera Little League, Carlos Gonzalez and Esmith Pineda rallied their team to a third-place finish in the Little League Baseball World Series with towering blasts in the bottom of the sixth inning for a 3-2 Consolation Game victory over the Southeast Region's Goodletsville (Tenn.) Baseball Little League on Sunday at Howard J. Lamade Stadium.
Gonzalez racked up two RBIs on one hit for Latin America, tying the game at 2-2 with a long home run. Pineda followed with the game-winning big fly to give Aguadulce Cabezera Little League the victory.
"I talked to the team before the start of the sixth inning, and told them we needed one runner on base before our big bats came up," said Latin America Region Manager Luis Gonzalez.
Throughout the World Series, Mr. Gonzalez said that Carlos had been just missing that big hit. After the two-run homer, Carlos Gonzalez said, "Maybe I was just saving the big hit for a special moment."
"After Carlos tied the game, I was thinking, "If I get a good pitch, I could hit a home run,'" said Pineda.
A fast start by the Southeast Champions resulted in a 2-0, which held up until the last inning. However, the team from Tennessee had no answers for Gonzalez, which managed just one hit off of the Latin America's pitcher. Gonzalez allowed no earned runs, walked four, and struck out five during his five innings of work.
RESULTS: Little League Baseball® World Series
Zach Williams was a bright spot for the Southeast Region champs, allowing only three runs, while striking out six.
Tyler Jones went 2-for-2 at the plate in the losing effort, ripping a double in the third inning, and a single in the sixth inning.
"We didn't come in to this game thinking we have to win," said Southeast Manager Joey Hale. "Despite the outcome, we still won because we got to play on the last day of the season. I told the boys that we did a great job, and had a great season, but more importantly this tournament is not about wins and losses ... It's about being here and experiencing it."
Jose Torres recorded the mound win for Latin America, pitching a scoreless sixth inning. He struck out two, walked none, and surrendered one hit.
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