6/5/2013 6:00:00 AM Dodgers rally late in honor of tourney's namesake
Kingman North Dodgers’ Mike Bathauer gets a congratulatory high five from Wyatt Talk after crossing the plate to give the Dodgers a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning Monday night during the Little League Tournament at Southside Park.
KINGMAN - Last year, Little League District 9 decided to change the name of the Major Tournament of Champions to the John Bathauer Memorial Little League Tournament.
The name change honored the life of the longtime Kingman North Little League supporter who lost his battle with cancer just before the start of the 2012 season.
On Monday, the tournament returned to Southside Park, where Bathauer spent many nights as a coach and parent along with his various duties associated with Little League.
So it wasn't a surprise that the team Bathauer coached, the Dodgers, were down 3-2 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning when they received a little divine intervention that sparked a rally and a 6-5 win.
"He's looking down on us tonight," said Dodgers manger Ron Tanner.
Bathauer's twin boys, Mike and Matt, singled in the tying and go-ahead runs to give the Dodgers a four-run fifth and the win over the Lake Havasu North Rangers, advancing Kingman to Tuesday's semifinal game against Bullhead City.
"It's dedicated to the twins' dad," Tanner said. "I couldn't be happier. I'm proud that when we got behind, that we were able to come back. We had the top of the order and I told them that we needed to do it this inning.
"We had to do it right here and they did it."
Mike Bathauer got the start and pitched 1 2/3 innings, recording three strikeouts while giving up one run. He was relieved by his brother Matt, who pitched an inning while giving up two runs and striking out three.
The twins also proved to be terrors at the plate in the No. 3 and No. 4 spots in the order, combining to collect five hits. Mike led the way with three, including a double and two runs scored. Matt Bathauer doubled in the first inning to score Mike, giving the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead.
The Rangers tied it at 1-1 in the top of the second inning before the Dodgers retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning.
Havasu took a 3-2 lead in the third and added two runs in the top of the sixth and threatened with the tying run at third and the go-ahead run at first before Hayden Tanner shut the door with a pair of strikeouts to end the game.