Breckenridge Juniors top North Arlington in Sectional Championship
The success that the Breckenridge Junior League All-Stars has been having lately is one of a kind.
The Junior All-Stars remained perfect in their All-Star games by sweeping the tournament competition at the Section 2 Tournament, which concluded Sunday in Abilene.
Breckenridge inches one step closer to the ultimate goal of playing in the Junior League World Series that will take place in August in Michigan.
The Junior All-Stars claimed a 7-1 win over North Arlington Sunday in the championship game. This was the second time in the tournament that the All-Stars defeated Northern Arlington, having won the opening game of the tournament against them.
Breckenridge coach Pat Escalon said a dominate performance on the mound by the Breckenridge pitchers was one of the keys to victory in the tournament.
“It actually worked out pretty perfect for us,” Escalon said. “We went in with a plan with our pitching, which is one of our strengths. We went in and were able to have everyone available to pitch except for (Aaryn) Medina. Jake (Escalon) was able to pitch a good game for us and we just needed someone to get us four outs.”
“It doesn’t always work out that way, but it did for us this time,” he said. “We are hoping we can have the same success going into the state tournament, which is a four-game or possibly a three-game tournament if we do what we are supposed to.”
Breckenridge’s Owen Woodward hit a two-run homer in the first inning in Sunday’s championship game that really help spark the All-Stars.
“He had a clutch home run for us and has really been solid all year,” Escalon said. “He is hot right now and is seeing the ball good right now and everyone else is doing their job too. Credit his teammates for getting on base in front of him and credit him for taking advantage of the situation.”
Woodward said it was the work put in day in and day out that helped lead to his home run.
“Just being in the cage everyday it really helps a lot,” Woodward said. “You can’t think about hitting home runs. You got to think about hitting line drives.”
“It put us on top really early and I just figured that should get the team going really good,” Woodward said. “We all hit the ball well. Usually if we start off good and jump on them early, we can keep it going.”
Northern Arlington cut the lead to 2-1 with a run in the bottom of the first inning, but Breckenridge answered in the third inning with one run.
Neither team scored in the fourth inning, however Breckenridge added one run in the fifth inning and three more in the top of the sixth inning.
Breckenridge powered home seven runs one five six hits, while Northern Arlington scored one run on five hits and committed three errors.
Gerardo Palacios, Jonas Arellano, Zane McKay, Woodward, Escalon and Medina had one hit each in the game.
Woodward led the team with three RBIs.
Escalon pitched 5 ²/³ innings and had five strikeouts and allowed four hits and one earned run. He also had six walks.
Arellano pitched 1 ¹/³ innings and had two strikeouts and allowed one hit.
Breckenridge won its second game of the tournament against Waco Midway, 7-3 on Friday.
After leading 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning, Breckenridge trailed for the only time in the game in the top the third inning after Waco took a 2-1 lead.
Breckenridge responded in the bottom half of the inning with one run to tie the score at 2-2.
Breckenridge added two runs in the fifth inning and another three runs in the top of the sixth inning to help seal the win.
Woodward hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning that scored Jackson Woodward as well.
Zane McKay, Tristan Garcia and D’Andrey Silva each scored in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Breckenridge scored its seven runs on six hits and had four errors, while Waco had three runs on six hits and also had four errors.
Owen Woodward’s three RBIs led the team. Zeke Hernandez had two RBIs in the game as well.
Palacios pitched 2¹/3 innings to start the game and had a team-high four strikeouts.
Arelllano, Woodward and Silva also pitch in the game. Arrellano and Woodward each had three strikeouts.