The Culver City Little League 10U team advanced to the District 25 Winner’s Bracket semifinals with victories on Sunday and Monday. On Sunday, the Culver City 10 U team defeated City of Angels 9-8 in a thrilling walk off victory. On Monday, the Culver City 10 U team blasted Santa Monica West 20-5 en route to the semifinals.
Culver City jumped out to an 8-4 lead against City of Angels behind the pitching of Jason Romero and the hitting of third basemen Travers Tobis. In the top of the sixth (last) inning, City of Angels erupted for four runs to tie the game. With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Diego Lopez walked on a 3-2 pitch. Romero singled to right, sending Lopez to second. Thomas Chee singled to short left, loading the bases and bringing up leadoff hitter, Tommy Peacock. Peacock, playing in his first all star game ever, had reached base three of his first four times up. Peacock promptly watched the first pitch go by for a strike, and fouled off the second pitch. Down 0-2 in the count, Peacock, with the eye of an eagle, took the next three pitches, bringing the count to 3-2. The next pitched sailed high, and Peacock walked, scoring Lopez with the winning run.
On Monday, Culver City faced Santa Monica West’s 10 U team in an early evening affair. Culver City jumped out to three first inning runs, giving starting pitcher Stephan Thomas a small cushion. Thomas baffled Santa Monica for almost three innings, giving up just three runs and striking out three. Oliver Frye came in to pitch with two men on and two outs in the third, and induced an inning ending ground ball on his first pitch to quell the Santa Monica rally. After three innings, the score remained 3-3. Third baseman TJ Keith made a number of spectacular plays, keeping Santa Monica from scoring any further.
Culver City failed to score in the top of the fourth. Santa Monica loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, but reliever Thomas Chee came in and got the Santa Monica batter to pop to the pitcher to end the rally. In the top of the fifth, Jesse Tanahara walked for Culver City. Stephan Thomas singled to left, sending Tanahara to second. Lopez was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Frye singled to left, giving Culver City a 4-3 lead, but a running mistake erased Culver City’s runner at third. After Peacock was hit by a pitch, loading the bases, Brandon Zeidman singled to right, knocking in two, giving Culver City a 6-3 lead.
With one out and two on in the bottom of the fifth, Culver City turned to closer Andy Perez to preserve the lead. Perez promptly struck out the first two batters he faced, sending the game into the sixth and final inning. Not satisfied with a 6-3 lead, Culver City exploded for 14 sixth inning runs. Peacock came in to close the game. Offensive leaders for Culver City included Zeidman (3 for 3, 2 walks and a hit by pitch), Stephan Thomas (2 for 3, 2 walks, on base all five plate appearances), and Tanahara (four runs scored).
Culver City plays Malibu on Thursday at 4:30 pm at Ladera Little League. Admission is, of course, free.
Tommy Peacock taking the last pitch to win the game. Photo credit Scott Zeidman.