Game 16
0 vs. West 10
Monday, August 23, 2004
3:00PM ET

California hurler pitches McIntyre game
Sean McIntyre tosses complete game shutout in 9-0 West win

By David Graham-Caso

In a game time decision, Conejo Valley Little League manager Tom Ginther opted to start Sean McIntyre instead of Jordan Brower, the originally scheduled starter. The decision was a stroke of genius.

“I saw Sean throwing yesterday (against North Carolina),” Ginther said. “And he looked the strongest, so I made that decision to throw him today. How he threw today is a testament to how dominant he is.”

McIntyre was magnificent. The Thousand Oaks (2-0) lefty pitched a complete game, one hit shutout against Davenport, Iowa (0-2). McIntyre strung goose eggs on the scoreboard like they were Christmas lights. Behind McIntyre’s strong left arm and a 10 run offensive explosion, Thousand Oaks defeated Davenport 10-0 in a five inning mercy rule shortened game.

“I was a little bit nervous,” the California pitcher said. “But at the same time I was really excited.”

The Thousand Oaks offense gave their pitcher ample run support. The California team was not shut out in any inning that they came to the dish, and eventually notched ten runs in its five trips to the plate.

“Our pitchers are throwing hard and we are hitting the ball well,” said first baseman Danny Leon. “If we keep playing like this we have a pretty good shot at winning the whole thing.”

In the first inning, McIntyre brought Danny Leon in from second with a come-backer up the middle. The inning could have been worse for Davenport starter Trevor Kenyon. Kenyon struck out John Lister on a full count and then induced Cody Thompson to ground into a fielder’s choice to escape a bases-loaded jam in the first.

The West Regional Champions added two more runs to their lead with a two-RBI single by Leon in the second and made the score 4-0 when James Brady scored on a wild pitch in the third.

West poured it on in the bottom of the fourth. Thousand Oaks scored five runs before Davenport could record an out, and upped its lead to nine runs, one run shy of the 10-run mercy rule. The rally was capped off by a three run shot by Lister. Lister’s frozen rope home run was finally cleared to land by the right-center field lighting fixture.

“I was just trying to hit the ball,” Lister said of his homer. “You just have to go out and try to get a base hit, try to get a line drive, and if it goes out, that is great.”

McIntyre got his job done at the plate as well as on the mound. The Thousand Oaks slugger slapped an unconventional walk-off double down the left field line to score Leon and give Thousand Oaks a ten run advantage, which employed the mercy rule.

Thousand Oaks will automatically advance to a United States semifinal, should Lincoln Rhode Island win tonight at 7 p.m. A Rhode Island win would make both Lincoln and Thousand Oaks 2-0 in pool play and the Tuesday morning showdown between Lincoln and Thousand Oaks would then decide which team would get the number one seed in the single elimination round of the tournament.

Click here for box scores

Photography by Caroline Connolley

© 2004 Little League Baseball Incorporated