Team wins rubber game Monday to advance

The Taft Senior division all-star team took a big sigh of relief Monday evening when they came back to defeat Shafter 7-3 to win the best two-out-of three Little League District 61 championship series in Shafter.

Taft and Shafter had to play a third game Monday after the teams split two games Sunday.

In the game that Taft won Sunday, they had to go extra innings to defeat Shafter 7-4. Taft made the first move by scoring four runs in the fifth thanks to singles from Daniel Cortez, Kamrun Hacker, Jeremy Wilmer and Alex Guzman's double.

Shafter countered by scoring all of their runs in the sixth inning before Taft scored three more in the eighth.

Shafter won their game by defeating Taft 5-2. Shafter scored three of their runs in the third before adding two more in the seventh. Taft scored a run in the third on Christian Palacios triple and Jordy Cazares double. Taft doubled their run total in the fourth.

In the championship game Monday, Shafter and Taft each had their scoring chances early in the game but both sides were unable to score. Shafter finally broke through with a run in the top of the fifth inning. However, Taft countered with four runs in their half highlighted by Hacker's run scoring single.

Taft followed up with three more runs in the sixth. Shafter threatened to erase the deficit in the top of the seventh by scoring two runs but Taft held on for the 7-3 victory.

This is not the end of the road for Taft. They will be competing in the Regional in Visalia Friday.