Little League — Section 3
by Press staff
Jul 21, 2008 | 282 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

A sixth-inning rally gave the Alpine Little League All Stars

of Menlo Park a second chance Sunday as the Tracy American 9/10 All Stars

threatened to force a second game for the Northern California Section 3

championship.



Instead of a second game the teams went into four more

innings at Jefferson School, with Alpine

taking the 10-9 win.



The Tracy American 9/10 All Stars were two outs away from a

9-3 win, but Alpine took advantage of walks and connected for three base hits

to spark a six-run rally and make it a new ball game going into extra innings.



Four innings later in the bottom of the 10th

Alpine got the two hits it needed to score the winning run on a close play at

home plate. Tracy

coaches disputed the call, and said the runner should have been out because he

went into the plate head-first, which would have been a violation of Little

League rules. Umpires ruled that the runner slid feet-first, then rolled over

and touched the plate with his hand underneath the tag.



“We gave them six runs in the bottom of the sixth, and

that’s what put us in this position,” Tracy American Manager Bruce Russell

said, adding that the frustration for his players was that Alpines batters

didn’t swing the bat as much as most teams. Tracy American connected for 14

hits, compared to nine for Alpine.



“We had a good run,” Russell said. “From the first game in

the losers bracket to finish second place in the section isn’t bad.”

Tracy

got on the scoreboard first with base hits from Justin Mills and Dylan Von

Hartman. Noah Denoyer was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Brandon

Russell’s two-run double. Nick Medina drove in another with a sacrifice fly.

Mills drove in another in the second and Dylan Von Hartman batted in two more.



Russell led off the third for Tracy with a solo homer over the left field

fence. Von Hartman led off the fourth for Tracy

with a double, and Noah Denoyer, Russell and Medina each batted in runs.



Bases on balls got the first two Alpine runners on base with

one out in the bottom of the sixth and a single loaded the bases. Alpine scored

on a walk, an infield error, a two-run base hit from Jared Lucian to deep left

field, a sacrifice grounder and a hit down the left field line from Ryan Pade

to tie the game.



The game remained scoreless for three more innings,

including the top of the eighth when Alpine again loaded the bases and

threatened to score when, with two out, shortstop Robbie Ramirez snagged a line

drive to end the inning.



With one out in the bottom of the 10th Alpine’s

Lucian hit a single into right field and sprinted around the bases on Matt

Hennefarth’s base hit to deep left-center, which brought Lucian around for the

score to end the game.



“We were very lucky to win,” Alpine Manager Mark Martella

said. “Tracy

had the game in hand. That’s Little League. You never know what these guys will

do, especially in the 9/10’s.”



The Major League Section 3 championship was also decided

Sunday as the Pleasanton

Little League All Stars of District 57 won 5-2 over the Hillsborough Little

League All Stars of District 52.

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