SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — The Dixie All-Stars were one game away from becoming the first Utah team to reach the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
History will have to wait.
The Southern California representative from Rancho Santa Margarita took an early lead, then held on in a slugfest for an 11-7 win in the 2017 Little League Baseball West Regional Tournament Saturday night at Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino, California.
Southern California struck first when Drew Rutter sent a ball over the right-field fence for a two-run homer in the top of the first inning.
Southern California added another through Danny Lawler’s RBI double in the second.
With one swing of the bat, Cole Decastro evened the score. The Little Leaguer ripped a three-run homer that sailed over the left-field fence, and the two teams were tied at 3-3 after two innings.
Brandon Gray gave the lead right back to Southern California, opening a four-run third inning with a solo shot in the first at-bat.
Mason Kesterson and Parker Andrus each slugged a homer in the fifth inning to pull Dixie within one, 8-7. But that was as close as the Dixie All-Stars could get in a game that featured seven home runs on 17 hits.
Ty Maynard added a hit and a run scored for Dixie.
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