Colton Isom pitched a strong five innings with nine strikeouts but it wasn’t enough for the Porterville All-Stars in the team’s 3-2 loss to Madera National Thursday at Burton Ballfields.
Playing in the second game of the Little League California Section 7 Championship tournament, Porterville’s 2-0 lead began to slip away in the bottom of the fourth when an error gave Madera’s Isaiah Sanchez a triple. Another error in the following at-bat put Joel Arellano on and scored Sanchez.
Two at-bats later, Madera’s Paul Stroemer brought in Arellano on a groundout to tie the game.
Madera held Porterville scoreless and set up a walk-off situation for the bottom of the sixth. Sanchez drew a walk and Arellano hit up the middle to put runners on first and second, which forced Porterville to make a pitching change.
First baseman, Horacio Nunez, came in for Isom and got the next two batters out but an error in the infield moved Madera’s runners to second and third.
Stroemer came up to bat with his little sister telling him to “hit it back up the middle” and swing like “mom was throwing it to you”. Launching one to right field for the walk-off win, Stroemer was quickly swarmed by his teammates and coaches who rushed the field.
Nunez 2 for 3 with a double and a RBI to be the game’s top hitter. He hit his RBI-double in the first inning to score Jose Perez. Perez also scored in the third inning on an error by Madera’s catcher. Isom took the loss on the mound, finishing with three runs on three hits, one walk and nine strikeouts.
Porterville faces Delano tonight at 7 p.m. Delano lost to Madera 6-2 on Wednesday. Tonight’s winner will face Madera Saturday in the championship game.