Five of the six divisions at Walnut PONY crowned new champions on Saturday, May 17th. A full day of baseball started early at Creekside Park with the Mustang Championship game between the Maryland Terrapins and USC Trojans. Strong pitching by starter Isaac Quintanilla of USC and Matthew Leyva of Maryland kept the game a close affair the first 3 innings with USC holding on to a slim 1-0 lead. Then the Trojans broke open the game by scoring 4 runs in the top of the 4th inning with the help of a double a piece from Quintanilla and Diego Franco followed by a big 2-RBI single from Adam Ford. USC would go on to win the game 7-3 and claim the Mustang championship for manager Chris Razo.
The Shetland Championship saw the Maryland Terrapins complete their Cinderella run through the playoffs with another upset win against the Texas A&M Aggies 16-12. Maryland was the number 4 seed and had barely a 50% winning percentage during the regular season but they won three straight very close playoff games, including games against the number 1 and 2 seeded Shetland teams. Congratulations to manager Michael Esparza.
In what is probably the least surprising champion of the day, manager Carlos Cons’ Pinto USC Trojans finished their undefeated season at the noon Pinto Championship game by winning 14-5 against the Fullerton Titans. The Trojans cruised all season long, winning all 17 games and outscoring their opponents 195 to 45. That has to be one of the more dominant teams in Walnut PONY history and certainly since the stats have been kept.
Manager Chris Jones pulled off the rare double championship on Saturday when both his Bronco and Pony teams took their division’s titles. The Pony USC Trojans beat the Maryland Terrapins 15-1 in the morning game at Snow Creek Park. While the Bronco Clemson Tigers won in an also very rare “walk-off balk” in the bottom of the seventh inning in the championship game against the Bronco Maryland Terrapins. That game was probably the most exciting of the day. Clemson struck early and often, building an 8-0 lead before the 3rd inning but Maryland never gave in and started to crawl their way back. The Terrapins bottom of the lineup, Issac Reyes, Tyler Tarigo, Christian Estrada and Jacob McGill, led the charge with big at bats, including a 2-RBI triple by Estrada, in the 4-run 6th inning to tie the score at 8 all. After a scoreless top of the 7th inning, Clemson Tiger Izaiah Ayala singled to lead off the bottom of the 7th. Two outs later, Ayala was at third base when the Terrapins tried to intentionally walk slugger Angel Williams but the pitcher failed to ”come set” before throwing the pitch and a balk was called, scoring Ayala from third and giving the Tigers the Bronco championship.