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June 26, 2007 > MSJLL wins Tournament of Champions

MSJLL wins Tournament of Champions

By Biff Jones and Henry Tang

Braves, Major Division (ages 11-12) champions for 2007 from Mission San Jose Little League, won the Little League District 14 Tournament of Champions. District 14 is composed of eight Little Leagues from Fremont and Newark. Besides MSJLL, the others are Centerville American (CALL), Centerville National (CNLL), Fremont American (FALL), Newark American (NALL), Newark National (NNLL), Niles-Centerville (NCLL), and Warm Springs (WSLL). In the first round, MSJ defeated CN 17-0, and then won 11-8 in the semi-finals over NA. In the championship game played last Saturday, June 23, the Braves defeated the Athletics from FA, 8-3.

The final saw MSJ stake FA to a two run lead in the bottom of the first. MSJ would answer in the top of the second on an RBI single by Christian Flores before tying the score 2-2 in the top of the third. Lead-off hitter, James Gaffey, started the inning off with a double and would score after singles by Wyatt Ott and Mark Ruppert. Both teams would go quietly in the fourth before MSJ opened it up with a four run fifth inning. Darien Lo led off the fifth with a walk and was pinch run for by Matthew Tang. After an out, Ott would again single before Scott Havard reached on an error which would plate Tang. Following another out, two more runs scored on singles by Patrick Andresen and Ryan Mark to make the score 6-2 going into the bottom of the fifth.

FA would get one back in their half of the fifth on a single, wild pitch, stolen base and a MSJ throwing error. MSJ closed out the scoring in the top of the sixth when Lo reached on an error, Gaffey singled, Ott doubled and Andresen singled to make the final score 8-3 as FA went scoreless in the sixth and final inning. Terence Hu helped the cause with strong defensive play behind the complete game pitching of Havard. Peter Dentinger and Reid Marion, though out of town for this game, contributed to the Braves highly successful season. The Braves were led by Manager Joe Bellinger and Coaches Mark Andresen and Lucky Ott.

Five Braves players, Dentinger, Hu, Lo, Mark and Ruppert ended their season on a winning note, while the other seven move on to All-Star play. Andresen, Gaffey, Havard and Marion with the Majors Team, Flores and Ott with Minors 10-11 Team, and Tang with Minors 9-10 Blue Team. Bellinger will be the Majors All-Star Team Manager.

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