Saturday’s Grass Valley Little League Opening Day pitted two home town teams from the junior division against each other in hardball action.
The Grass Valley Giants faced off with the Grass Valley Yankees on a perfect day that started 12 hours earlier with a pancake breakfast and the Mayor of Grass Valley Dan Miller throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.
The two Grass Valley teams concluded the day’s action in spectacular fashion, battling back and forth for nearly three and a half hours, and finally ending with a 13-12 victory for the Giants.
The Giants struck first with three runs in the first inning coming off five walks. They continued their strong offensive effort two innings later, batting around in the third with a triple by Andrew Link, a single by Luke Cornish, walks to Kevin Uchida, Richy Comendant and Grady McCuen which were followed by a double by Gary Menary and another hit in the inning by Link.
While the Giants were running and scoring at will, pitchers Gary Menary and Ben Powell shut down the Yankees on one hit by Tanner Wirick through four innings.
In the fifth, the Giants plated three more on walks to Adam Dennis and Link, and singles by Menary and Cornish.
With the Giants up 13-0, they only needed to get three outs to end the game via the mercy rule, but the Yankees batted around and scored five with hits by Cody Jiannino, Jonathan Weaver, Tanner Wirick, Kyle Felhauber and Ty Smethers.
Felhauber shut down the Giants the last inning and 1/2, the Yankees scored three more in the sixth on two hits batsman and three walks.
In the seventh, Michael Schrieber knocked in two runs to make it 13-12 with only one out.
A groundout and a walk put runners on second and third with two outs and it took a perfect play by pitcher Cornish who fielded a wonderful bunt and got the out to end the game.
Both teams showed heart and determination in playing hard and never giving up. The rematch is at 6 p.m. Friday night at Condon park.