SAN BERNARDINO (KGTV) - Park View's run at its third Little League World Series appearance in nine years came to an end Wednesday in a heartbreaking 7-5 loss to Tri-City Little League at the West Regional in San Bernardino.
The Southern California squad faced a different team than the one it defeated in a 16-8 rout on Sunday night.
Playing in its fourth game in four days --and doing it in near triple digit temperatures-- the Green Monsters couldn't muster the pitching or defense to stop Northern California.
Despite an arduous schedule, the merciless San Bernardino summer heat, and a target on their back as the tournament favorites, Chula Vista's champs gave it a monster fight.
Tri-City, which had Monday off, squeezed every pitch it could from relief pitcher Benjamin Tipper to keep PVLL's punishing bats off the ball. Tipper recorded seven strikeouts and gave up only two hits in his four inning performance.
The game got off to a promising start for Park View.
PVLL starter Matthew Bjornstad picked apart Tri-City's leadoff hitter on three pitches for a strike out. But Bjornstad, who dominated TCLL's line up in relief in Sunday's first round match up, served up three consecutive hits including a double to TCLL's Nathan Erickson.
Bjornstad continued to struggle to get out of the first inning allowing four runs on four hits and walk.
Down 4-0 in the bottom of the first, PVLL appeared to shake off the deficit and scratched their way to within one run. The player they call "Mighty Mouse," Anthony Leyva, laced a double to left field to start the rally. Leyva scored on a Ivan Rodriguez Jr.'s line drive double to left.
With the bases loaded, Conner Alonzo hit two RBI single to make the score 4-3.
PVLL sent Ivan Rodriguez Jr. to the mound in the second inning to try to put the brakes on TCLL's offense, but he was only able to slow Tri-City's surge allowing one run in the second.
The Green Monsters fought back in the bottom of the second to keep pace, scoring a run on a RBI single from Rodriguez Jr.
As TCLL continued to find ways to stay ahead in the seesaw match, Park View's bats couldn't keep up with Tipper's pitching. His combination fastball and changeup pitches froze the Green Monsters in the fifth inning where PVLL went down in order.
The bottom of the sixth was no different. Tipper started the inning before Tanner Dykstra came on in relief to snag the final two outs of the game.