The San Lorenzo Valley Padres took the District 39 Majors Little League Championship back to SLV on Sunday, June 29.
In the Tournament of Champions, Padres pitcher Dayton Landry racked up the third 9-0 complete-game, one-hit shutout to win the championship. Excellent defense backed him all day. The four Santa Cruz-American Yankees base runners never made it past second.
The Padres faced the top two Yankees pitchers and found their magic number is 9-0, as they also beat the Capitola/Soquel Giants by the same score twice before that, earning complete-game shutouts for three different pitchers: Jordan Peabody, Ajay Morrison and Landry.
After all the drama over the ejection of Peabody four games earlier, the Padres took the field relieved to be in the final match and confident that they belonged there.
Landry launched just 66 pitches, striking out five in a one-hit effort. Shortstop Peabody flashed the leather, combining for five outs. Nate Gentry at third fielded two grounders and caught a screaming line drive for the final out. Catcher Pat Primeau successfully chased down a bunt. First baseman Max La Capria was solid and on the receiving end for nine outs in all.
The biggest threat of the game came in the fourth. The Yankees had runners at first and second with nobody out. Peabody snagged a grounder and threw to Morrison at third to get the lead runner. Then, Jude Sofranko caught a deep fly ball to left field for the second out, and a fly ball to La Capria ended the threat.
The offense got started in the third. Duncan Mackie scored first, followed by Primeau on a single by Morrison. The ball got under the fielder’s glove, allowing Landry to score and making it a 3-0 game. In the fifth, facing the Yankees’ No. 2 pitcher, Primeau doubled off the wall. With first base open, the Yankees intentionally walked Landry. Morrison then singled, picking up his third RBI and scoring Primeau.
Jacob Hicks bunted safely, and a passed ball allowed Landry to score the fifth run. With runners at second and third, Brian Robbins hit his second single to score Morrison.
In the most poetic moment of the game, Peabody faced the pitcher with whom he had collided at the plate four days earlier, resulting in his suspension, in his final at-bat. With two on and two out, he crushed the first pitch down the left-field line and over the fence just inside the foul pole — his first home run.
Manager Guy Peabody, in the third base coaching spot, turned into Dad as he left his feet in a leap of exultation. It couldn’t have happened at a more fitting moment for the young player in his final game as a Padre.