SAN DIEGO - The Eastlake Little League All-Stars from Chula Vista earned a berth in the Little League World Series Saturday night with a 9-0 victory over their counterparts from the Belmont-Redwood Shores Little League in the West Region Tournament championship game in San Bernardino.
Grant Holman pitched a two-hitter, striking out nine and walking two, holding Belmont-Redwood Shores hitless over the final five innings before a crowd announced at 11,238 at Al Houghton Stadium.
Nick Mora went three-for-three, with a single, double and triple, and four teammates had two hits each in Eastlake's 12-hit attack.
"Up and down the lineup, we couldn't get them out," said Rudy Lopez, the manager of Belmont-Redwood Shores, the Northern California champion.
Eastlake is the 10th San Diego County team to qualify for the Little League World Series and the first since the Park View Little League All-Stars from Chula Vista in 2009, who won the Little League World Series.
Belmont-Redwood Shores was the only team to defeat Eastlake in its 19 games. Eastlake manager Rick Tibbett said he thought Saturday night's game "was going to be very, very close."
Eastlake, the Southern California champion which won a coin flip to be designated as the home team, scored in each of the five innings it batted in the 5 1/2-inning game.
Each of its first three batters struck out, but Holman, the third batter, reached first base when Belmont-Redwood Shores catcher Patrick Archer dropped the third strike. Mora followed with a triple to right field, driving in Michael Gaines, the special pinch runner for Holman.
Tibbett called Mora's triple "big time."
"As soon as we got on the board, I thought we could get to this guy," Tibbett said, referring to Sean Lee, the Belmont-Redwood Shores starting pitcher.
Espinoza's second-inning two-out single drove in Gaines, the special pinch runner for Charly Peterson, who doubled. Micah Pietla-Wiggs, who walked, scored Eastlake's third run on Lee's wild pitch.
Mora doubled leading off the third, advanced to third on Giancarlo Cortez's single and scored on a passed ball. Bateman, who ran for Cortez, scored on Dominic Haley's ground out.
Pietla-Wiggs singled leading off the fourth, advanced to second on left fielder Zach Wong's error and scored on Espinoza's single.
Eastlake combined singles by Pietla-Wiggs and Holman, Peterson's double and two walks for three runs in the fifth.
Belmont-Redwood Shores came closest to scoring in the first when it had runners on first and third with two outs, but Holman struck out Lee to end the inning.
Daylin McLemore had an infield single leading off the second inning and went to second on a wild pitch. He tried to advance to third on an errant pitch by Holman, but was called out when he overslid third base. Holman struck out Taylor Douglis for the third out.
Three Belmont-Redwood Shores batters reached first over the final four innings, two on walks and one on an error.
Eastlake will begin play in the Little League World Series Friday against the Grosse Pointe Woods-Shore Little League All-Stars from Grosse Pointe, Mich., the Great Lakes Region champion, in South Williamsport, Pa.
The West Region Tournament field consisted of the champions of Southern California, Northern California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah.
Eastlake has become the 10th San Diego County team to play in the Little League World Series and the first since the Park View Little League All-Stars from Chula Vista in 2009, who won the Little League World Series.