The Steel Lake Little League Braves captured the league’s majors division championship with a win over the Cubs in their final best-of-three games.
Isaias Mojica pitched just over four innings for the Braves, allowing only three runs and one walk.
In their first meeting the previous week, it was stellar pitching by Mojica, along with his solo home run, that gave the Braves a 3-1 win. The Cubs’ starting pitcher Mason Sleeth gave up only two runs in that game. The following day, in game two, Cubs pitcher Cody Gaerttner held the Braves to just two hits, both by Chase Cretti, for a 4-0 Cubs win. Trevi Vo also had two hits in that game. Braves pitcher Derek Butler allowed five hits and one walk in six innings.
In the final league championship game held June 6, the Braves got on the board early with one run in the bottom the first when Jaden Herwick scored. Vo led off the bottom of the first with a full-count double deep to center field before Isaias retired the next three batters in a row. In the second inning, three hits and a walk by the Braves along with three consecutive errors by the Cubs allowed the Braves to take the lead 5-0.
The Cubs rallied back on a line drive by Vo, followed by an Anthony Myers double, a Drew DeLaCruz grounder and a double by Gaerttner, which trimmed the Braves’ lead down to 5-3. But the Braves picked up two more runs in the fourth on hits by Kyler Herwick and Derrick Butler, along with a double by Isaias, pushing the score to 7-3.
Hits by Sleeth and DeLaCruz in the bottom of the fifth inning helped the Cubs cut the Braves lead again to 7-5. Jaden and Herwick both had a couple hits each in the game for the Braves; for the Cubs, Vo and DeLaCruz also each had two hits.
The Braves managed the only base hit by Butler in the final two innings when Myers went out to the mound. Cretti closed for the Braves as they won the Steel Lake Little League majors division championship 7-5.
The Braves go on to the Tournament of Champions, June 11-13, at South County ballfields. They’ll face the Federal Way National majors champion Giants in their first game of Tournament of Champions on Saturday June 11 at 6 p.m.