Perfect game recognized as Little League action continues

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comMay 30, 2013 

Los Banos Little League honored one of its pitchers on Wednesday, presenting Kody Cardoza of the White Sox with a plaque commemorating his perfect game from early March.

Following Wednesday's 11-4 victory over the Angels, league officials brought Cardoza onto the field to present him with the plaque -- in fact, Angels shortstop Sebastian Luna, a friendly rival, was the one to present it to him.

"It felt good when I was pitching. I just felt good," Cardoza said. "I was just focused on the glove. I didn't take my eye off of it."

With Trey Augustine catching on the first game of the season on March 12, Cardoza powered the White Sox to a 5-0 victory over the Dodgers by striking out all 18 batters he faced. He missed the plate just 10 times in the game.

"He's been our ace the whole year, and I think he's been the ace for the whole league," said White Sox assistant Don Mallonee, who stepped up as head coach for a game while Rick Augustine was working. "I mean, 18 strikeouts and only 10 balls, I think that says it all."

Cardoza's father, David, an assistant baseball coach at Merced College, was on hand for the presentation.

"I think it's something that's very rare and very special -- at any level of baseball," David Cardoza said. "He works his butt off. He works hard and he enjoys baseball, and I think it shows."

Kody will have to clear space somewhere on his bedroom wall -- but he may need to clear space for more trophies. The White Sox have dominated the majors this spring, sporting a 19-2 record after Wednesday's win, with the postseason tournament looming.

"Our team plays with confidence," Cardoza said. "It's a good team."

Things are a little more chaotic in AAA, with just 4.5 games separating the first-place A's (12-5-1) and the sixth-place Blue Jays (7-9-1). As Major League Baseball's Oakland A's were beating the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday, the Giants of Los Banos triple-A were reminding the A's how close things are with a 12-5 victory.

In Double-A, the Rangers have put together an undefeated season so far, sporting a 15-0 record prior to Thursday's final regular-season game. In single-A, the Braves (13-3) finished just ahead of the Giants (12-4).

In the juniors division (ages 12 to 14), where the season runs to the middle of June, the Red Wings have jumped out to an early lead at 4-1, trailed by the Threshers at 3-2. The Red Wings and Threshers have split their two games so far, with the Red Wings winning 10-2 on May 11 and the Threshers winning 2-1 on May 22.

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

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