Facing a two-run deficit with three outs to play was no problem for the Goleta Valley South Little League 11-12 All-Stars on Wednesday evening.
GVSLL clinched the Section 1 Tournament title with a 7-6, come-from-behind win over nemesis Moorpark behind a walk-off, two-run single from No. 9-hitter Alex Furukawa.
Colter Nisbet and Evan Kling led off the inning with walks and starting pitcher Jake Sofro drove in Nisbet with a single and Isaac Oh drew a two-out walk to set up Furukawa’s game-winner.
“We had some quiet confidence going into (the bottom of the sixth,” assistant coach Michael Kling said. “We had Nisbet and Kling leading off again. Their starter had reached his pitch count. We were confident.”
Leighton Demello opened the scoring for Moorpark with a two-run homer in the third, only to have GVS answer right back with Dylan Shugart’s own two-run blast, his fourth in all-stars this year.
GVS added two more in the fourth after Nisbet scored on a double-steal with Kling, who later scored on a passed ball for a 4-2 lead.
In the sixth, however, Moorpark’s Sawyer Stoehr knocked a two-out grand slam to give his team the lead heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Trey Tank earned the win for GVS, getting the final seven outs in relief of Sofro, who gave up two runs and pitched into the fourth.
Nisbet and Kling, meanwhile, both scored twice as GVS made the most of its five hits.
“Every at-bat was a battle,” Michael Kling said. “Nearly every time up we made them work deep into the count and throw multiple pitches.”
As the Section 1 champion, GVS now travels to Ladera Little League on Saturday to face the Section 5 winner to open the So Cal Sub-Division North Tournament at 5 p.m.