The High Sierra Braves capped an undefeated season last night by beating the Westside Red Sox 9-0 for the championship of Little League baseball's District 15 Minor Tournament of Champions for ages 9 and 10 at Eproson Field in Twain Harte.

The Braves (16-0-2) rode the combined two-hit, 14-strikeout pitching of Eddy Cruz and Matt Skinner. Cruz worked the first three innings, fanning nine, walking one and allowing no hits. Skinner pitched the last three, whiffing five and walking one.

The big hitter for the Braves was first baseman Eric Carrera, who hit a double and a triple and drove in three runs. His double, which chased home two runs, came in the bottom of the second inning and gave the Braves a 4-0 lead. His triple, which drove in one run, came in a three-run fourth.

Cruz and Skinner both helped themselves at the plate, Cruz going 2-for-3 with a double, two runs scored, six runs batted in and six stolen bases, and Skinner hitting an RBI triple. Carrera and Skinner hit back-to-back triples in a three-run fourth.

Also, Dakota Wanamaker walked twice and scored twice; Dylan Wanamaker, Casey Hard, Raymond Miller, and Will Baldwin each walked and scored once, and Scooter Guidry went 1-for-2 with a walk and a run.

Chase Twohig turned in a gritty pitching performance for Westside, going all six innings. He struck out eight and walked eight while giving up six hits and five earned runs.

A single by Alex Kiriluk and a double by Mitchell Olson accounted for the Red Sox's hits.

High Sierra represented the Twain Harte, Soulsbyville and Belleview school districts, while Westside represented the Tuolumne and Standard areas.

The Braves made the finals via a forfeit victory over Calaveras National of San Andreas and on-the-field victories of 6-4 over Linden and 5-0 over the Woods Creek Muckdogs of Sonora and Columbia.

Westside made the title game by beating Calaveras American of Angels Camp and Copperopolis 11-1, and by downing the 49er Indians of Jamestown, Groveland, Moccasin and Don Pedro 7-3.

The Union Democrat
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