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May 7, 2008 > Challenger


Submitted By MSJLL parents
Photos By Christina Broadwin

Young batters step to the plate, tapping bats on cleats like pros or taking mighty practice swings, but Mission San Jose Little League's Majors field looks a bit more crowded on Saturday, May 3. Along with the Dodgers and A's, there are Yankees, Mariners and Giants, all ready to lend a helping hand.

When the Challenger Division takes the field, other MSJLL players step in to help. Volunteers serve as buddies, helping kids run the bases or field the ball or just cheering the efforts of the Challenger players. Games always draw a crowd of interested MSJLL fans, who cheer every player.

Earlier in the morning, Zach Strand, a strapping Majors player, belted a homer and pitched his team to victory. This game found him holding the hand of a tiny Challenger A's player as the pair crossed the plate.

For the volunteers, there is a special joy in taking the field with the Challenger players. "I'm sharing something I love with kids who need help playing," said Cade Nauman, who plays for the Major Giants, "Its fun getting to know the kids and being a buddy."

On this day, Kevin Normandin powered the mighty Challenger Dodgers offense, with three singles against the A's. Sagar Ludher belted a double, while Moises Barrington singled. Joshua Scheel and Normandin played strong defense, while power hitter Cyle Glidewell hit a home run. Giancarlo Aiuto fielded balls at third.

The Mets rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to squeak by the A's 6-5. The A's had scored three runs in the top of the seventh to take a 5-4 lead behind some aggressive base running and a key hit by Matt Eike. Mets' Aaron Farrell scored the winning run on Brandon Fuhs' sacrifice fly. Kenny Jacoby and Fuhs pitched well for the Mets, scattering six hits and striking out seven A's batters. Barry Blank paced the Mets' offense with a double and a single along with Jacoby's three singles. Reid Marion and Kyle Welker both had two hits for the A's.

The A's used a seven-run first inning to hold off the Warm Springs Giants 9-6. Alex Scott and Brandon Wong led the offense. Sam Sanches got the save in the win for the A's.

Tim Tang pitched five innings of one-hit ball, striking out seven, as the White Sox belted the Red Sox 11-5. Devon Jones, Patrick Andresen and Vince Rojas were instrumental in the victory.

The Red Sox turned two double plays in a 6-2 win over the Niles-Centerville Cubs. Managing only hits from Billy James, Ian Dickeson and Scott Dentinger, the Red Sox capitalized on their scoring opportunities to support the fine pitching efforts of Chris Lo, Stuart Rosete and Jeff Chu. The trio combined to scatter five Cub hits.

In a stirring comeback, the A's rallied for their first win this season, topping the Giants 12-9. The A's were losing 8-0 when they put together an amazing nine-run fifth inning. The Giants' Cade Nauman scored to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth, but the A's scored three runs in the top of the sixth. Krushi Vemula led the A's attack with a pair of singles, a walk and a double. Varun Saresh drove in a pair of runs with a single, and Satkaran Tamber chipped in an RBI single. For the Giants, James Gaffey belted a pair of doubles, Terence Hu smacked a double and a single, Jordan Terbeek walked three times and Christian Flores added a single. Nauman singled in a run, scored twice and anchored the defense with a line-drive catch at second.

The Giants fell to the Niles-Centerville Rangers 2-0, despite a jewel of a pitching performance from Gaffey, who struck out nine.

Zach Strand smacked a two-run homer and pitched the Yankees past the Mariners 5-3. Thomas Rodriguez chipped in an RBI double, and Alex Chen, Jacob Walter and Mark Cho helped power the offense. Jason Amico singled for the Mariners, who relied on Adam Curtis' seven strikeouts.

The Yankees held off the Cubs 6-5, despite a heroic effort from Michael Lin, who clubbed a home run and pitched brilliantly for the Cubbies. Rodriguez singled twice, doubled and drove in two runs. Cho, Arjun Sarkar and Sean Wolnick contributed offensively to the victory. Akshay Agharkar and Nikhil Menon doubled for the Cubs, who got terrific defensive play from center fielder Tyler Johnson. Ryan Lee also aided the defense.

Martin Padilla pounded a triple and a single, scoring three runs in the Mariners' 9-6 loss to the Niles-Centerville A's. Anthony Achacoso led the defense while Saad Azam ran the bases well to score a pair of runs. Ryan Henderson contributed a long double to center and later scored on Patrick Zhu's single.

Minor National
Marshall Munoz' daring steal of home capped off a wild 13-12 Giants' victory over the Braves. Dillon Peng and Adam Hancock led the offensive attack, driving in crucial runs. Ryland Mortlock and Rahul Dayal were steady forces on defense. For the Dodgers, Varun Viswanath smashed a triple, double and a single. Aarsh Shah doubled and tripled and caught a deep fly in the outfield. Chris Desiniotis added two doubles and a pair of RBI's while Shiv Kapur and Prathik Jogi collected two hits each.

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