Giants, Braves, Lady Tigers reign as Little League champs


Parents and baseball fans came out Thursday night to see six teams vie for three Maricopa Little League championships at Pacana Park.

The three leagues crowning new champions were the softball, minors, and majors. The Lady Tigers, the Braves and the Giants ruled their diamonds, respectively.

The Giants scored first with two runs in the first inning and never let up or allowed the Rays to pull ahead.

The Rays tied it up in the third with a RBI double that drove in two; a line drive just over the second baseman. The Giants responded scoring another three runs in the fourth to regain the lead, which they held until the very end, eventually winning 12-2.

“This feels so great,” said 47-year-old Tom Keel, the head coach of the Giants. “The season started off not great, we lost our first two (games) … but I knew the team I picked would gel together, and I knew they’d get us here.”

Keel’s two sons, Trey, 11, and Jacob, 9, both played for him on the Giants. Trey lead the 11-to-12-year-old age group in hitting, hitting the most over-the-fence home runs in the group. Jacob, the second-youngest player in the group, earned the game ball for pitching five solid innings with many strikeouts.

The Lady Tigers defeated the Lady Sun Devils 11-2. The scoreboard did not correctly show the effort put forth from the Lady Sun Devils who made many successful plays at the plate. Stolen bases were the key to victory for the Tigers.

***ADVERTISEMENT***After creating an almost insurmountable 10-2 lead, the Braves were able to stave off Blue Jay resurgence, and a bases loaded to win the minors championship 10-7. The Blue Jays put in five runs in the last two innings and almost tied the game in the fourth when they loaded the bases but the stalwart Braves defense held on.

The majors Lady Rams previously took their championship.

Maricopa Little League closing ceremonies start at 9 a.m. Saturday at Pacana Park. Players who made the All-Star team will be announced.