The Yuma Maple Leafs defeated the Imperial County Ghost Riders in game 1 of their Championship Series in walk-off fashion, with a final score of 4-3.
The Maple Leafs took a 2-0 lead in the 1st inning. Catcher Jordyn Van Atta knocked an RBI double, eventually scoring on an error by the Ghost Riders’ third baseman.
The Ghost Riders added 1-run in the 2nd inning. Third baseman Slater Putland reached base on a double, scoring on an RBI double from outfielder Demetrius Moorer.
The game remained 2-1 in favor of the Maple Leafs until the 6th inning, when the Leafs took a 3-1 lead. Yuma second baseman Elijah Briseno reached on a leadoff walk, scoring on another RBI double from Van Atta.
The Ghost Riders tied it up in the 9th. Putland and Moorer each reached base with hits, scoring on a 2-run single from second baseman Joshua Martinez.
The game looked to be going to extra innings, with Ghost Rider closer Luciano Reynoso striking out the first two batters of the inning. Leaf shortstop Eduardo Moredo reached base on a walk, stealing 2nd, setting himself up in scoring position. Third baseman Kori Melo would come in clutch with his first hit of the game, knocking an RBI single to win the game.
The Leafs had 7 hits, being led by catcher Jordyn Van Atta who went 2-4 with 2 RBIs and 1 run.
The Ghost Riders had 10 hits and were led by outfielder Demetrius Moorer, who went 3-4 with 2 doubles, and RBI and a run.
Maple Leafs starter Aaron Hatch tossed for 8 and 2/3 innings, allowing 3 runs on 9 hits, while walking 2 and striking out 4. Reliever Bobby Orozco tossed for 1/3 inning, walking 1 and striking out 1.
Ghost Riders starter Danny Alvarez tossed for 6 complete innings, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits, while walking 3. Closer Luciano Reynoso tossed for 3 complete innings, allowing 1 run on 4 hits, while walking 1 and striking out 4.
Game 2 is Friday night at 7pm at the Ray Kroc Baseball Complex in Yuma. The Ghost Riders need to win to continue their quest for the inaugural Desert League Championship.