Two big offensive innings helped propel the Astros to a 12-8 win over the Dodgers in last Friday’s East Mountain Little League Rookies Division tournament championship.

“I think they were nervous at first but they got a little bit of momentum and they were able to keep it going,” Astros head coach Isaac King said.

East Mountain Little League’s Astros, wearing their Rookies Division championship medals

The Astros broke a 3-3 tie in the fourth inning with a 5-run spurt that was fueled by 8-year-old Brayden Kusnetz’ 2-RBI double.

The Dodgers answered with 5 runs in the fifth inning to knot the score at 8 apiece but the Astros sealed the victory with 4 more runs in the sixth.

The Astros’ Emerson Naylor scored a game-high 3 runs.

“They just kept swinging their bats hard,” King said. “They’re a great bunch of kids, they always kept a good attitude.”

“It was a nail-biter,” Dodgers head coach Jay Pierce said. “Our kids tried hard every inning till the end—and they showed great improvement from the beginning of the season.”

The coach-pitch Rookies Division consists of boys and girls ages 6-8.

The Astros went undefeated during the seven-team, single-elimination tournament that ran May 30-June 2 at EMLL’s fields at Vista Grande Community Complex in Sandia Park.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.