Sixth inning rally lifts Folsom National over Lakeside

FNLL Giants score late to top Lakeside Yanks 6-5
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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A pair of power-hitting squads slugged it out toe-to-toe Thursday night in the opener of the Little League District 54 major division tournament of champions at Mahany Park. When the dust had settled on a classic battle, the A team from Folsom National, the Giants had a come-from-behind 6-5 win over the Lakeside Yankees. The B team from Lakeside sent its ace to the hill, and Conner Briare was solid, fanning seven as he pitched into the sixth before the pitch count limit caught up with him. The rangy southpaw allowed six hits before leaving with a one-run advantage and couple of runners on base in the top of the sixth. A Landon Mitchell single followed by doubles off the bats of Josiah Deguara and Logan Guller put Folsom National up by a pair in the top of the first inning. Lakeside countered in the home half of the stanza, as Bret Munkdale reached on an error with one out, and the Yankees scored two on a Briare two-bagger and a Nick Dumke base hit. Deguara matched Briare on the bump, as both pitchers had moments of dominance, while also being unable to completely shut down the powerful offenses. “It was a fantastic game,” said Lakeside manager Grant Keeney. “We lost to a very good team that had very strong pitching that we couldn’t quite solve.” The third inning saw both teams plate two more runs as Lakeside continued to answer each Folsom National rally. After Briare sat down the first two hitters in the top half of the inning, Cody Creason worked a base on balls to set the stage for Deguara’s two-run blast that put the Giants on top temporarily. Briare responded personally, ripping a long ball of his own in the bottom of the third. Dylan Keeney followed the dinger with a base hit, and then came around to score on a Mitchell Morse knock. Keeney left the yard in the Lakeside portion of the fifth, setting the Yankees up to close it out in the top of the sixth, but they were unable to get that done. Another Deguara double and a walk put runners on for Fred May, who sent a two-bagger of his own to right field, chasing home both runners and putting Folsom National up by a single tally. In a game with this kind of drama, you had to know that Lakeside would not go away quietly. A walk and a single at the bottom of the order set the table for a late Yankee victory, but the top of the order could not deliver. Guller, the Giants’ relief pitcher, struck out Matt Rogers and Munkdale at the top of the lineup, then intentionally walked Briare to load the bags before fanning Keeney to end the game. “We just couldn’t string together too many hits in many innings,” Keeney said. "We were too sporadic.” Deguara, with a pair of doubles and a home run was the leading hitter for Folsom National, while Briare, Keeney and Dumke each banged out two hits for Lakeside. In the single elimination TOC, the loss ends the season for the Lakeside Yankees, while the Folsom National Giants move on to face the A team from Snowline Little League in a 1 p.m. game on Saturday at Mahany Park.