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The Santa Ynez Pony Baseball 12U Pirates won the championship of the Extreme Diamond All-Star Classic on Sunday, June 2, in Paso Robles — their second straight tournament title.

While some teams win games with a walk-off base hit, the young Pirates ended the tournament’s championship game with a rare, walk-off double play.

With Santa Ynez clinging to a 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth and final inning, the Hanford All-Stars had the potential game-tying runner on third base and potential go-ahead runner on first with just one out.

In Pony baseball, runners are allowed to take a lead off the base and the Hanford runner on first took a big lead.

Santa Ynez pitcher Niko Peinado picked him off with a perfect throw to first baseman Jaden Lamberton.

The runner on third broke for home on the throw to first and Lamberton threw to catcher Josue Garcia who applied the tag to complete a walk-off double play.

“The momentum was definitely shifting their way — until that play,” said Mario Dedios, father of the Pirates’ Mario Dedios Jr.

That gave the Pirates a perfect 5-0 run through the Extreme Diamond Classic’s Gold Division.

“Pitching is one of the things we rely on,” said Dedios. “Niko, Josue, Zack Gavlak, Diego Pulido and Tyler Ontiveros are all shutdown pitchers.”

Garcia was the starting and winning pitcher, throwing three shutout innings of three hit ball with three strikeouts and one walk.

Peinado pitched the final three innings, giving up five hits, to pick up the save.

Hanford’s two pitchers were just as tough, giving up only six hits to Santa Ynez — singles by Lamberton, Peinado, Garcia, Dedios and Gavlak and a two-run double by Izzik Martinez that put the Pirates up 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning.

Santa Ynez’s defense was perfect, playing error-free ball in the title game.

Peinado was the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

In Sunday’s semifinal game, a huge 7-run, sixth inning powered the Pony Pirates to a 9-2 victory over the Five Cities All-Stars.

The game was tied at 2-all in the top of the sixth with the Pirates up to bat.

With two men on, Lamberton blasted a triple to give Santa Ynez a 4-2 lead.

Peinado, Garcia, Dedios and Jack Elliott all drove in runs later in the inning.

Five Cities held a 2-1 lead heading into the fifth inning when Peinado hit a solo, inside-the-park home run to even the score.

Pulido was Santa Ynez’s starting pitcher, giving up two runs on two hits with three strikeouts before Lamberton came on in relief, holding Five Cities scoreless in another error-free game.

Santa Ynez banged out 15 hits in the victory, with Lamberton, Garcia, Elliott, Peinado and Pulido each getting two hits and Dedios getting three hits on a 3-for-3 day.

In their first Sunday game, the Pirates defeated the 805 Outlaws 4-3 after opening the tournament with two wins on Saturday.

“We had seven players who batted over .400 in the tournament — three of them were over .500,” said Dedios Sr. “And our defense was just fantastic. No errors in the final two games and only two errors in the entire tournament.”

SM Memorial Day Classic

The 12U Pirates opened their tournament season with the Silver Division championship on Sunday, June 2, at Santa Barbara’s Memorial Day Classic.

Santa Ynez went 1-1-1 in Saturday’s games — games that determined the seedings for Sunday’s championship rounds.

The 12U Pirates then swept both Sunday games for the championship.

“That first tournament was more about unifying the boys, building team spirit,” said Dedios. “Our boys played on different teams during our league season. This was the first time they played together in the All-Star season.”

The tournament season continued over the weekend of June 8-9 when the Pirates hosted the Wine Country Summer Classic.

The 10U All-Stars opened the tournament Saturday with pool play games against the Goleta Riptide before playing the Goleta Condors.

The 12U All-Stars faced the DP Sluggers, the only team to beat them so far, and then met the Ventura All-Stars to set up Sunday’s championship bracket games.

The results were not available at press time and will be reported next week.

The All-Stars will then have a week off before playing at a tournament in Pismo Beach before the sanctioned tournaments leading to the Pony Baseball World Series begin.

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Senior Sports Reporter

Elliott Stern has worked at Lee Central Coast Newspapers for the last 18 years after more than 30 years working in television and radio news and sports.