South Brandon coach Tony Saladino III said Saturday’s opening pool-play game of the Little League Southeast Region Tournament in Warner Robins, Ga., might have been the worst game his team has played this postseason. However, after giving up two runs in the top of the first, South Brandon settled in and rode a three-run home run from Adrian Malave to a 4-3 victory against Bridgeport, W. Va.
“From districts, to sectionals, to state this was the worst game we’ve played,” Saladino said. “We are lucky to have come out of it with a win.”
Bridgeport started with three consecutive hits off South Brandon starter Myles Caba, but Caba ended the inning with a pair of strikeouts and a ground-ball out. South Brandon took control with Malave’s home run to right field.
“Thank God Adrian put a charge into that ball,” Saladino said. “It had to have gone 240 (feet), 250, and he’s streaky so if he gets dialed in, there aren’t many kids better, so that’s a good sign.”
South Brandon added another run in the second when Caba singled to lead off the bottom half of the inning. He was replaced by pinch runner Dalton Marsh, who scored on a Mac Jorgensen single.
South Brandon pitchers Marcos Herrand and Malachi Woodside allowed one run the rest of the way combining for six strikeouts over the remaining 42⁄3 innings.
South Brandon continues in pool play on Monday at 1 p.m. against North Carolina’s representative, Clemmons Southwest Forsyth.