Forestville Dodgers defeat McCabe-Waters Astros in extra innings to win Little League City Series title

Published on Friday, 30 August 2019 15:22


BRISTOL - The almost unanimous opinion heading into Thursday night’s winner-take-all City Series championship game between the McCabe-Waters Astros and Forestville Dodgers Little League teams was that it would be a tight contest and come down to the wire. 

That prediction proved to be right on the money. 

The Dodgers used explosive offense to take a 10-5 lead into the fifth, but the Astros showed their resiliency, scoring five runs with two outs in the bottom half to make it a 10-10 stalemate into the sixth.  

That set the stage for a wild finish, as the Astros loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the sixth but came away empty handed. In the seventh, Dante DePass was thrown out at home following a passed ball, as Astros catcher Lincoln Bashaw’s relay throw got DePass just in time to end the inning. 

Donnie Rodriguez then delivered the eventual game-winning hit, lofting an RBI single to center field to score Nick Zygiel after he led off with a single of his own in the eighth inning. 

The Dodgers held onto that 11-10 lead, as Hector Rivera-Martinez blanked the Astros in the bottom half to capture the City Series trophy at Breen Field, buoyed by a terrific catch by Dodgers right fielder Will Postell on a hard-hit fly ball that helped preserve the victory in a 3-hour, 12-minute marathon. 

“I’m so proud of each and every one of these kids,” Forestville manager Clay Roberts said. “They battled and they battled and they battled. It was just a seesaw. In those extra innings, your nerves are rattling. I can’t say enough about the McCabe-Waters Astros - their coaching staff; their players. They are a class act and class organization. It’s a shame that somebody has to lose a game like that. ... That game could’ve gone either way.”

Aiden Lopez rocked a two-run home in the second inning, and his leadoff triple in the fourth preceded Rivera Martinez roping a go-ahead RBI single to break a 5-5 tie and then scoring on a passed ball for a two-run lead. DePass then scored on a passed ball, and Zack Colannino broke the game open by lasering a two-RBI single into right field for a 10-5 cushion. 

In the bottom of the fifth, however, Mason Allen ripped a two-strike, two-out single up the middle to score Landon Sisson, and Mike Demers scored on a passed ball to cut the Astros’ deficit to 10-7. 

Rivera-Martinez entered in relief of DePass with two outs, and Bashaw jumped on him right away, sending a two-run single to right field. Billy Zabawa then punched a game-tying single through the hole between first and second base for the 10-10 tie.

In the sixth, Rivera-Martinez loaded the bases on three straight two-out walks, but he bounced back to record an inning-strikeout to Astros three-hole hitter Tom Pirog. 

Rivera-Martinez’s first-inning double and two passed balls gave Forestville an early 1-0 lead, but Astros starting pitcher Chase Dauphinee stranded the bases loaded with two straight groundouts. 

Mason Allen then started the Astros out offensively, taking a pitch off his right shoulder before eventually advancing home on a passed ball, and Bashaw then sent a charge on a ball hit into deep right field, the surge crawling to the fence for a two-run double and a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first. 

That’s when Lopez unloaded, skyrocketing a first-pitch fastball high into the air in left field, sending a two-run home run well over the left field for a 3-3 tie, crossing the plate and being mobbed by teammates. Rivera-Martinez followed by lasering a double to right-center, and he came home two pitches later on a passed ball for a 4-3 lead. 

Dante DePass then turned a walk into a 5-3 cushion, taking second on a wild pitch and going to third base on the same play, as the ball hit the home plate umpire and bounced toward the first-base side dugout. The throw to third base from the Astros catcher went into left field, as the club’s third baseman was not paying attention when the ball was thrown, allowing DePass to score easily. 

But the Astros struck right back in the bottom of the second, plating two runs on passed balls for a 5-5 stalemate. 

After the Dodgers took their five-run lead two innings later, they nearly tacked on with Xavier Kalanquin’s double to put runners on second and third. But Astros relief pitcher Pirog induced a long fly ball to the warning track off the bat of Lopez for an inning-ending out. 

The Astros then struck back in their half of the fourth, loading the bases without putting a ball out of the infield, but DePass came through in the clutch, speeding up his pace on the mound and slicing up the heart of the McCabe-Waters lineup with three straight swinging strikeouts before the Astros rallied. 

“They were down five runs, and again they didn’t give up. They never give up,” McCabe-Waters manager Matt Pirog said. “I’m very proud of them. We were one or two pitches away opening up and winning the game ourselves. We just needed a couple key hits, but, again, every day it’s something new. I keep saying the same thing. They didn’t give up. They could’ve folded when they were down five runs in the fourth inning, but they came back. This is the way to go out.”

Zack Carpenter can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, General Sports on Friday, 30 August 2019 15:22. Updated: Friday, 30 August 2019 15:24.