Gavin Kells in a relief pitching stint shut down the surging Knights to lead the Hot Rods to a 13-9 victory in an Ocean View Little League Minor A Division game.

Kells inherited a grim situation when he took over pitching duties in the third inning. The Knights had already scored eight runs, had a runner on base and were threatening to score more, but Kells kept the Knights in check the rest of the way. He allowed no runs on just one hit in 3 1/3 innings and struck out six.

The first three innings of the game provided plenty of fireworks as the teams combined for 18 runs. After the Hot Rods put up a pair of runs in the first, the Knights struck back with five in the bottom of the inning. The five-run Knight outburst featured homers by Dylan Scales and Antonio Ventimiglia. The Hot Rods responded with five of their own in the second but Ventimiglia homered again as the Knights scored three in the inning.

The Hot Rods put up another pair in the third and the Knights kept the heat on with one of their own in the same inning.

For the Hot Rods, Ramon Lopez led the way with two hits and Jack Pirooz, Carson Webb, Aiden Hall and AJ Hurtado each got one hit. Lopez, Pirooz, Kells and Van Harmon each scored two runs, and Webb, Hall, Wyatt Smith, Myles Lopez and Quentin Custodio chipped in with one run each.

For the Knights, Scales, Ventimiglia and Colby Turner each hit safely twice and Jonathan Galbraith also got one hit. Turner and Ventimiglia each scored twice and Scales, Galbraith, Sebastian Aparicio, Aaron Linville and Jackson Penney each crossed the plate.

— Reader submission