WOODLAND — Playing for a spot in the Little League District 64 10-11 tournament finals, the Davis National All-Stars made key plays down the stretch to hang on for a 10-9 victory over Vacaville Central on Saturday at Camarena Field in Woodland.
Trailing 7-6 after five innings, DNLL’s three-run top of the sixth was highlighted by a two-run homer by Cody Taylor — his second of the contest.
But there was more drama to be had as Vacaville scored twice in the bottom of the frame and had the tying run on third base with one out when Davis brought Will Fehrenbacher into the game.
Fehrenbacher got the first batter he faced, then struck out the second to send his team into the finals.
Looming Sunday (7 p.m.) is Woodland National, a powerful squad that is undefeated so far in the tournament, including a Friday win over DNLL in which the locals had just two hits. Davis must beat Woodland on Sunday then again Monday to capture the championship.
“We are going to need to hit better than we did the first time we faced them,” said National skipper Tom Fehrenbacher. “We’ll have a different approach at the plate, be more aggressive early in the count.
“It will be a tough task, they are a very solid team.”
Davis looked Saturday like it has a pretty solid team of its own as it took a 6-1 lead after three innings.
Sparkling defense from the younger Fehrenbacher at shortstop, catcher Luke Carrell, third baseman Taylor and center fielder Ethan Lo, among others helped Nate Thompson pitch 4 2/3 strong innings for the locals.
Lo also took the mound and had a pair of strikeouts before giving way to Fehrenbacher.
After VCLL took that 7-6 advantage in the bottom of the fifth, Thompson led off the sixth with a single, then went to third on a pair of passed balls. Fehrenbacher followed with an RBI grounder before Carrell singled and stole second.
That’s when Taylor went yard to give DNLL just enough runs to get the win.
“It was a very well-played game, a lot of clutch hitting from both teams,” coach Fehrenbacher said. “Vacaville Central is a strong team but we just battled to the end.”