Giants, Braves, Pirates Win MLL Titles

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Titus Kahl is called “safe” as he slides into home plate.

Titus Kahl’s run wasn’t picture perfect last Saturday, but it capped the end of a great first inning for the Malibu Little League’s Giants.

Instead of sliding on his backside to steal home plate during the Giants’ championship game against the Mets, the 11-year-old somehow ended up covering the plate with his belly. The score gave the Giants a 3-0 lead. 

Titus said he wanted to score badly. 

“I slid regularly with my feet and turned to see if the ump called me out or safe,” he said.

 

The Giants never relinquished the lead as they beat the Mets, 10-2. The Giants defeated the Mets, 11-4, on Sunday to claim the MLL’s AAA title, bringing to mind last fall’s MLB National League Wildcard game, which saw the San Francisco Giants defeat the New York Mets. 

The Giants were one of three MLL championship winners to be crowned at Malibu Bluffs Park over the weekend. The Pirates won the AA crown for the second straight season and the Braves won the Majors championship. The Braves have won four straight MLL titles and six championships in the last seven years.

The Giants and the Braves will play in the California District 25 Tournament of Champions in Beverly Hills this weekend. The tournament will pit division winners from little leagues across the Los Angeles area against each other. 

 

The Giants’ offense lit up the scoreboard and their defense, led by pitcher Declan O’Bryan, kept the Mets in check. 

The Giants scored four runs in the third inning to push the score to 7-0, then the Mets scored their lone runs an inning later. The Giants scored their last runs in the final inning to cement the win. 

Nicky Ladesich drove in runs six and seven for the Giants. The 10-year-old said runs and limited errors were the keys to the Giants success. 

“This was one of our better games,” Ladesich said. 

After the six-inning contest, Duross O’Bryan, the Giants coach said the team’s batting practice during the week helped get the win. 

“We batted really well and when the Mets pushed in the third inning they shut them down,” he said. “We were hitting the heck out of the ball.” 

 

O’Bryan, who pitched the third to sixth innings for the Giants, said he felt no pressure on the mound. The 10-year-old said the Giants played their best during the right time of the season.

“The whole game we did great,” he said. 

There were several awards given out after the games on Saturday during the MLL’s closing ceremony.

Garrett Button was the winner of the first annual Jonah Stern Award. One player on each MLL baseball and softball team was a Ross Feikls Award recipient. The winners were Kade Kelly, Michael Longo, Stefan Colburn, Joshua Doyle, Hank Norby, Espen Cruse, Declan O’Bryan, Thomas Novak, William Carr, Bennett Shurgot, Trevor Oliver, Shaya Charvet, Dylen Lee, Chloe Loquet, Milla Romano and Maizee Marderosian.