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
Instead of a second game the teams went into four more
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
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.”
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
fence. Von Hartman led off the fourth for
with a double, and Noah Denoyer, Russell and
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
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
Little League All Stars of District 57 won 5-2 over the Hillsborough Little
League All Stars of District 52.