FARMINGTON — When Ivan Ulloa came to the mound for D-BAT Gallegos in the bottom of the sixth inning, he was in a tough position.
D-BAT Leach had just tied the game at 3-3 and was poised to take the lead, but Ulloa knew the defense behind him would make the plays needed to win.
"I just tried my best to stay calm," Ulloa said. "I was taking deep breathes and trying to throw strikes and hit my spots and let my defense back me up."
And they did.
After D-BAT Gallegos took the lead back in the top of the seventh, D-BAT Leach had Darien Simms on second base with two outs. Tim Millard stepped to the plate for D-BAT Leach and hit a single up the middle, allowing the Leach coaching staff to give Simms the wave home. Charging in from center, Trent Clark scooped the ball with his glove and threw a laser to the plate, coming in plenty of time for catcher Braden Williams to tag Simms out at home and give D-BAT Gallegos the 4-3 win in Game 12 of the Connie Mack World Series at Ricketts Park.
"He's a 16-year-old and going to be a junior in high school from El Paso," D-BAT Gallegos manager Roberto Gallegos said of Ulloa. "That kid has a big heart, and he's been clutch for us all year long. We go to him whenever it's time to go, and it's worked."
Dallas' D-BAT Gallegos got on the board right away after Josh Watson doubled off the right field wall. Watson came around to score on a Cody Farhat bunt when D-BAT Leach's first baseman Blake Wiggins couldn't hold on to the ball, going down with an hand injury. Wiggins remained in the game after the play, finishing out the inning and taking an at bat in the bottom of the first, but he was replaced with Millard at first base in the top of the second.
D-BAT Leach manager Pat Leach said his Dallas-based team does not know the severity of Wiggins' injury, but he said it doesn't look good for the first baseman.
"Obviously, he was hurting," Leach said. "When he took some swings, we could tell he was hurting, and you can't expect a kid to play through that when he can't swing the bat. We'll see how he feels tomorrow. I don't know, but it doesn't look good."
In the top of the third, D-BAT Gallegos added two more runs on a Josh Ragan single up the middle, bringing Watson and Clark home from second and third, respectively, to make it 3-0.
D-BAT Leach got things going in the bottom of the sixth, sparked by a lead off double from Noah McGowen.
With McGowen on second, Travis Stone hit a flare to right that brought McGowen home for D-BAT Leach's first run to make it 3-1.
With one out in the inning, Matt Bernstein hit into what looked to be a sure double play, but the ball was mishandled by D-BAT Gallegos shortstop Lucas Wakamatsu, allowing Blake Adams to touch home to make it 3-2.
Two batters later, Nate VanDyke hit at Wakamatsu again, who missed the ball under his glove for his second error of the inning, allowing Stone to score from third to tie the game at 3-3.
Then in the top of the seventh, D-BAT Gallegos' No. 9 hitter Matt Mikusek took the lead back with an RBI single that saw Tony Santillan touch home.
"It was a great game of baseball. We made a couple of errors late in the game that allowed them to come back, but we found a way to come back and win," Gallegos said. "My nine-hole hitter has been clutch all year long. He's probably the best nine-hole hitter in America."
With the win, D-BAT Gallegos is one of two undefeated teams remaining in the CMWS. The other is the Midland Redskins, who D-BAT Gallegos will play in tonight's 7:30 game.
The loss is D-BAT Leach's first of the series, setting up an elimination game with Puerto Rico's Carolina Vaqueros, who won on Tuesday in a 3-2 walk-off against Bill Hood.