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Majors Little League Baseball dodging the raindrops

Reds top Padres 5-4
By: Jim Linsdau News Messenger Sports Editor
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In a battle to hold on to second place in the Lincoln Little League Baseball Majors’ division, the Red Sox outdueled the Padres 5-4 to improve to 3-1 on the season and stay just one game behind the Giants, April 5. On a cold, damp night, the Bosox’s Michael Hamp surrendered three runs in the first inning and then settled down to pitch five solid innings of baseball and silence the Friars’ bats. Hamp came out after the fifth with 11 strikeouts and no extra-base hits. “I just keep my hands warm and pitch my game and do what I do,” Hamp said as how to pitch effectively when the temperature begins to fall. “I throw fastball, cutter, and changeup. After (they scored) I settled down and pitched a good game.” It appeared Hamp’s efforts might prove for naught when the Sox were only able to score one run in the first two innings. But in the third, Greden McFarlin stroked a two-out triple and he and Derek Hammond would later score on a couple of crucial Padres’ errors. The clincher came in the fifth inning when Hammond hammered a triple to drive in McFarlin, who singled to open the stanza. A passed ball allowed Hammond to come home and essentially seal the game at 5-3. The Pads looked as if they might send the game into extra innings when a sharp single by Gregory Pallas allowed Charles Middleton to score from second base. However, Hamp stepped up to retire the next batter to end the threat. “That was a good team over there, the Red Sox. They played a really good game,” Padres’ manager Raymond Garcia said after the game. “We didn’t play as good a defense as I like but we did hang in there.” Garcia said his team was young and that he had to replace seven of the players he had from last year’s runners-up club. Garcia tipped his hat to Hamp’s pitching performance, but also credited his relievers Joseph Flores and Garrett Mattos for the job they did in holding down the boys from Bean Town. Still, the Red Sox came through when they needed to. The Friars’ Gregory Pallas looked like he might put one out in the third inning when his deep shot to center was caught at the fence for a long out. “A lot of the problem is emotion,” said Red Sox manager Mike Hamp after the game. “You have to keep (the players) upbeat and not put pressure on themselves. The pressure is on us, the coaches, to make them better and that’s all we stress on.” WEEK IN REVIEW The mighty Giants kept their hold on first place in the Majors Division by staying undefeated at 5-0. They cut loose on the Pirates with 17 runs to stay ahead of the Red Sox and Phillies. The Sox pulled to within a game with their win over the Padres followed by a 2-0 decision over the Yanks. The Phils dropped the Friars into fourth place with a 9-8 win Saturday. The loss was the Pads’ second at the hands of the boys from Brotherly Love and their second one-run defeat. The San D sluggers have not disappointed at the plate collecting seven of the Majors’ 20 home runs this season. Middleton has four, Pallas two and Flores one. The Yankees moved to within a half game of the Padres with a 10-6 decision over the Bucs last week. The Pinstripers are 3 ½ games behind the Giants. For a complete schedule of Little League Baseball, including rainouts, visit lincolnllbaseball.org. Lincoln Little League Majors Baseball Game of the Week R H E Red Sox 102 020 – 5 6 1 Padres 300 010 – 4 4 3 Red Sox ab r h bi Newsome 2b 2 1 1 0 Hamp p 4 0 0 0 Cavarra c 2 0 0 0 McFarlin 3b 3 2 2 0 Hammond rf 2 2 1 1 Rhodes ss 1 0 0 0 Eller lf 1 0 0 0 Miller 1b 2 0 1 0 Eslinger cf 1 0 0 0 Johnson ph 1 0 0 0 Rounds ph 2 0 1 0 Totals 19 5 6 1 3B – McFarlin 1, Hammond 1. LOB – 9 WP – Hamp, 5 IP, 11K, Sv – Cavarra – 1IP, 3K Padres ab r h bi Lemus 2b 3 1 2 0 Middleton c 0 2 0 0 Pallas p 2 1 1 1 Pate rf 3 0 0 0 Flores ss 2 0 0 0 Garcia 1b 3 0 1 2 Mattos cf 1 0 0 0 Estrada lf 0 0 0 0 Rodriguez 3b 1 0 0 0 Tofft ph 1 0 0 0 Theiman ph 2 0 0 0 Buchholz ph 1 0 0 0 Totals 19 4 4 3 LOB – 5. LP – Pallas 3 2/3 IP, 9K, RP Flores, 2/3 IP, 1K, RP Mattos, 1 2/3, 1K.