Lincoln takes Area 1 District Majors All Stars crown

Garcia shines on the mound and at the plate
By: Jim Linsdau News Messenger Sports Editor
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With thoughts lingering of a couple of years ago when the Tri-City All Stars rallied with two outs to defeat the Lincoln All Stars, this year’s Majors’ club wasn’t about to let that happen again, July 7. Lincoln’s Eli Garcia took to the mound and pitched a masterpiece to keep Tri-City off balance most of the game and powered to a 4-1 victory in the District 11 Area 1 Majors All Stars Championship, July 8, Lincoln Little League Field. Garcia also went 3-for-3 at the plate, including a double, home run, and he scored three runs. “We were focused,” said Eli Garcia after the game. “We knew we were going to win this game. All we had to do was stay focused.” Only once did Garcia lose his focus when a pitch he thought had struck out a batter he was facing was called a ball. He eventually walked the batter, but the runner was unable to do any damage. Garcia also challenged Tri-City’s hard-hitting Justin Erickson in the fourth inning and lost. Erickson put the ball over the left-field fence to score Tri-City’s only run on a solo home run. Garcia got his revenge, however, when he struck out Erickson in the final inning. Lincoln All Stars Manager Ray Garcia said half of his 12-player roster have played All Stars since they were 9-years-old. He said the lingering memory of that loss to Tri-City a couple years ago has turned into a positive for his All Stars. “They have grown,” the team manager said of his players. “We went in there to beat them. It was a great win for our town.” Alex Rose scored Lincoln’s go-ahead run in the third inning when he took home on a passed ball. Rose drew a base-on-balls and made it to third base on Garcia’s double in the third. Garcia’s home run came in the fifth inning and put the icing on the Lincoln All Stars’ cake. It came in the fifth inning and signaled the end for Tri-City starting pitcher Fernando Loera, who pitched a great game in his own right. Loera struck out seven in 4 1/3 innings before giving way to Erickson, who came in to finish the game. “All game long he was throwing curve balls,” Garcia said of the pitch he hit over the fence. “I just go a hold of it and drove it out.” Both clubs also showed solid defense with few errors in the contest. A great catch in right field by Lincoln’s Ruben Sanabia robbed Tri-City of what could have been a triple off the bat of Jason Schafer.