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July 17, 2007 > Mission San Jose Little League Seniors move on to Sectional play

Mission San Jose Little League Seniors move on to Sectional play

Submitted By Barb Fuhs

In District 14 play, MSJLL Seniors (15-16 year olds) fell to Niles-Centerville in a winners bracket game played at Newark National Field (Newark Memorial High School) by a score of 5-4. Jacob Andresen led the Mission attack with a double and a monster home run over the score board. David Roche singled and drove in two runs for MSJLL while Ryan Mahuron contributed a single and pitched four scoreless innings. However, it was not enough to overcome the seven strikeout, complete game victory thrown by NC's Sean Pope.

Mission Seniors now had to win in the loser's bracket to advance. First up was Fremont American who they were able to defeat 8-3 in the loser's bracket final behind a five hit and run fifth inning attack. For Mission, Eric Gwynn and Eric Fuhs each lashed singles while Kevon Barton added an RBI with a double. Two more singles by Roche and Greg Oliveira plated runs in the inning while Nick O'Leary added an insurance run in the sixth with an RBI single. Oliveira also had an RBI double back in the third inning. Corey Ebersole singled and doubled for Fremont in the losing cause. MSJ would now have to beat Niles-Centerville twice to advance to sectional play.

In the first game with Niles, MSJ came back from a six-run deficit to win 10-8. NC scored six runs in the first two innings behind doubles from Robert Higares, Garrett Woo, Joel DePorte, and Phillip Rugani. After a scoreless third inning, Mission broke loose and scored five runs. Brian Wihl contributed 2 RBIs with a double while Ethan Torrence knocked in up 2 runs with a single. Josh Burnett's double brought in the fifth run of the inning. Mission added four more in the fifth with Roche hitting a two-run double and Wihl and Spenser Peterson adding RBI singles.

Mission added an insurance run in their half of the seventh on Wihl's third hit of the game. Bottom of the seventh inning saw NC lead off with back-to-back doubles by Ryan Reynolds and Steven Godfrey, but it would not be enough. Jacob Andresen pitched superbly for Mission for 5 1/3 innings, giving up only one earned run and striking out five.

In the second game that would decide the championship, Mission pulled out a "nail-biter" 4-3. Niles scored first when Woo singled in Steven Godfrey who had walked and stolen second. Mission answered as Gwynn smashed a two RBI single. The second inning saw Peterson lead off with a single before Barton doubled him home. Peterson scored again in the fourth after getting on base via a bunt single, to make the score 4-1. Niles-Centerville would not go quietly as they scored two runs in the fifth inning behind the hitting of Godfrey, Rugani, and LaPorte. Niles-Centerville ended up with nine hits for the "what if" and deciding game with Pope adding two and Higares and Anthony Guttery one each. Gwynn pitched well for Mission over the 5 and 2/3 innings he worked with Wihl pitching the final 1 and 1/3 to close out the game for the save. MSJ Manager Mark Rowell commented, "The players knew they had two games to win. They learned from the first loss and made adjustments at the plate, working the count and getting on base." Coach Frank Gwynn assisted the team in its victories. For MSJ Seniors, it is now on to Sectional play at Sea Breeze Park in Union City, home of Union City American Little League.

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