Little League Baseball, 2018: Padres complete dream season with PVLL Majors title

The Padres were considered the best team in the Pajaro Valley Little League Majors this season.

They lived up to that lofty declaration on Monday.

The powerhouse Padres completed their dream season with a 13-3 mercy rule win over the Braves to capture the PVLL Majors championship at Ruso Field in Watsonville.

They scored seven runs in the first inning and never looked back.

“We had great coaching around me, a solid roster and we tried to preach fundamentals and hard work,” said Padres manager Andy Garcia. “Proud of everyone on the team.”

The Padres lost only once during the regular season, and cruised through the playoff bracket en route to the title. They 10-run ruled the Athletics and Cubs in the first and second round, respectively, and shutout the Angels in the semifinals to earn a spot in the championship game.

Overall, the Padres finished with a 17-1 record.

“I was confident with everyone coming in,” Garcia said. “I like our bench. We have a deep roster and that’s what the difference was.”

Starting pitcher Brody Legions followed up his solid performance in the semifinals by tossing a three-hitter over four innings. He struck out five batters.

“He’s been pitching all of our big games lately,” Garcia said of Legions. “We’re trying to get him more comfortable as we get deeper into the postseason with higher pressure games.”

The pressure and challenge will be upped another level in the coming days.

The Padres will represent PVLL in the District 39 Little League Majors Tournament of Champions, which begin on Sunday back at Ruso Field.

The Padres’ first game of the tournament will be on Sunday at 7 p.m.

Legions also had a solid day with the bat, hitting a pair of singles and knocking in four runs.

Teammate Ruben Mora smashed a three-run homer and Samuel Garcia had two singles and two RBIs.

The Braves made a late run in the top of the fourth inning behind key hits from Nathaniel Arreola and Patrick Miller-Brown, but couldn’t extend the game past the fourth inning.

Still, their road to the final was impressive. After losing to the Angels in the second round, the Braves rebounded against the Giants in an elimination game and exacted sweet revenge against the Angels on Saturday to punch their ticket to the championship.

After allowing three runs in the first inning, Mariners’ starting pitcher Brian Acosta-Romero settled down and tossed a shutout  the rest of the way to lead his team to a 9-3 win over the Cardinals in the PVLL AAA Minors championship game on Tuesday night at Ruso Field.

Acosta-Romero allowed only seven hits and struck out 10 batters to earn the win.

The Mariners grabbed a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the first inning behind key hits from Acosta-Romero and Diego Mejia.

Acosta-Romero and the Mariners will advance to the District 39 Little League AAA Minors Tournament of Champions hosted at Harvey West Park in Santa Cruz.

They will begin the tournament on Sunday at 7 p.m.

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