The rain didn’t stop the Trail Eagles from topping off a perfect season with almost a perfect game, as they captured the Trail Major Little League title at Haines Park in Fruitvale on Sunday.
The Eagles went 26-0 in the regular season and playoffs combined, shutting out the Beaver Valley Yankees squad 7-0 in the final to take its third championship in a row.
“We had a very veteran crew of kids, and they came together,” said coach D. J. Ashman. “We were the best team from start to finish and we showed everybody all year that we were the team to beat.”
The pitching trio of Brendan Makay, Derek Green, and Colton Miracle completely flummoxed Yankee hitters, each pitching two innings and combining for a no hitter, as they struck out 13 of 19 batters, and allowed only a single runner on an error in the fourth inning.
Heavy rains cancelled most other baseball and soccer tournaments on the weekend, but a recently installed drainage system combined with the work of parents and volunteers helped get the Haines diamond in playable shape, just in time for the semifinal and final games on Sunday.
The Trail team shut out Grand Forks earlier in the Sunday semi to make it to the finals, going through without ceding a single hit.
“We only allowed three base runners the whole day, so that’s pretty awesome,” said Ashman.
In the second inning of the final match, Pete Pasqualotto walked, and Justin Coombs singled to bring up Green, who with three balls and one strike, hammered a triple to clear the bases. Makay then stepped up and singled in Green putting the Eagles up by three.
Trail would add four more in the fourth, thanks to a bases loaded single by Bradley Ross to knock the game out of reach.
Timely hitting with solid defense and untouchable pitching has been a successful recipe for the Eagles over the last three seasons.
This year the combination of Makay, Maracle, and Green have been virtually unhittable, although each hurler has his own preference on the situation and which pitch to bring when the game is on the line.
Makay got the start in the game and sat the Yankees down in order, counting four strikeouts with his patented slurve, before Green came on, bringing heat and striking out four straight batters and five of six.
Miracle got the ball for the final two innings and his knuckle ball had them reaching, as he threw the Yankees off balance and picked up four Ks to close out the game.
“I like closing,” said Miracle. “It puts me more in the mood and I get really focused.”
Jonathon Ballarin went 3 for 3 at the dish and Ross St. Jean was 2 for 3.
Six players off the Eagles will join the Trail All-Star Team as it hosts the Little League provincials next month.