Three impressive wins has catapulted the Laguna Beach Little League 9-year-old All-Star tournament team into the driver's seat of the District 55 All-Star Tournament.
Laguna took a spot in Saturday's championship game by rallying from an eight-run deficit Tuesday to roll past Newport Beach National, 26-16, at Woodfield Park in Aliso Viejo.
"Our kids were not at their best but showed real heart in coming back from an early eight-run deficit," Laguna Manager Taylor Pillsbury said.
Inconsistent pitching and errors by a usually reliable defense led to Laguna Beach facing a 12-4 deficit after two innings. Laguna bats came alive in the bottom of the third and the locals produced eight runs behind run-scoring doubles by James Laughlin, Aiden Kidd and Jett Rocha.
Newport Beach came back to take a one-run lead in the top of the fifth, although it was short-lived as Laguna responded with an 11-run outburst in the bottom of the inning to secure a mercy-rule win.