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July 9, 2008 > All-Star round-up of MSJLL for week ending July 6

All-Star round-up of MSJLL for week ending July 6

By Biff Jones and MSJLL Parents
Photos By MSJLL Parents

Mission San Jose Little League Juniors (13-14 year olds) reach tourney finals

The torrid Mission San Jose Junior All-Stars battled their way through the losers' bracket to reach the finals of the District 14 (Fremont and Newark) Little League tournament. Mission, managed by Wayne Chung, was scheduled to face Niles-Centerville Little League in the finals at Newark High on July 7 and 8 (if necessary). MSJLL needed to beat NCLL twice to win the title. Results were unavailable at press time.

It took the total package - hitting, pitching and defense - for Mission to work its way through the tournament, and the Juniors were fortunate to have contributions from players throughout the lineup. MSJLL outlasted Warm Springs 8-5, behind three for four hitting from Vince Rojas, who also drove in a pair of runs. Sammy Brown added a two- run double while Kevin Finch, Jeff Chu and Reid Marion aided the offense with hard-hit singles. Catcher Sam Sanches' defense was instrumental in the victory in addition to Patrick Yang and Chris Gaines' highlight-worthy catches in the outfield.

Earlier, the Juniors shut out Newark National 10-0, relying on the solid pitching of Rojas and Matt Eike. Chu cleared the bases with a triple, Gaines smashed a double and a triple to the fence, and Marion and Sanches joined the fun with hard hit RBI singles. Ian Dickeson was a steadying force with flawless defense at second, while Scott Dentinger played superbly at first base. Dentinger was the key runner in a double steal attempt that resulted in the tenth run.

Minor 9-10 Blue team

Strong defense led Mission San Jose Little League's 9 and 10 year old Blue team to the winners' bracket final in the District 14 tournament played on Monday, July 7. Results unknown at press time.

Playing as the visitors on Mission's home field at Gomes Elementary, the Blues held off Niles-Centerville, 8-5, on July 2. NCLL loaded the bases with no one out in the bottom of the sixth. However, closer Mark Gaffey worked out of the jam when he induced the NCLL batters to hit an infield fly for the first out, was aided by a terrific catch in center field by Nathan Pope for out number two, and a fielder's choice to end the threat. Throughout the game, Mission relied on its defense as it played flawlessly in recording twelve infield outs. Catcher Kyle Dean also threw out a runner at second base.

Pitcher Stanley Chiang gave Mission five solid innings and helped himself with two powerful hits. Aaron Havard went two for two with a pair of runs scored and an RBI. First baseman Sam Lowrey also was two for two with Jonathon Lee, Aaron Lethers, Gabe Francisco and Pope contributing hits.

The Blue team opened the tourney with a 12-1 win over Fremont American, relying on Lowrey's three-hit, eight-strikeout pitching performance. Speedy Andrew Chang scored three times, reaching on a pair of hits and a pair of walks. Dean scored twice and added a hit and a pair of walks. Lowrey, Chris Desiniotis and Gaffey each chipped in a pair of hits. Aaron Havard anchored the defense with strong play at short.

Majors (11-12)

Mission departed the tournament with a 5-1 loss to Centerville American on July 5. Zach Strand homered for the lone Mission run. Strand, an 11-year-old, hit seven home runs over the course of the season.

Mission could not capitalize on two hits in the bottom of the sixth as it stranded a runner at third in a 3-2 second-round loss to Newark National at Vallejo Mill Elementary School (NCLL) on July 3. Mission managed only five hits in the game.

Adam Curtis lined a single to right and made it to third with just one out. Arjun Sarkar also reached base on a single, but Mission could not bring the runners home. Mission also left a runner at third in the fourth, when Darien Lo singled and worked his way to third.

James Gaffey launched his second homer of the tournament, driving the ball over the fence in right-center field in the first inning. Gaffey also doubled in the fourth and stole third and home to score the other Mission run. Strand pitched four innings for Mission, striking out seven and Curtis closed out the game with four strikeouts in two innings of relief. Center fielder, Martin Padilla, snagged a line drive to prevent an extra base hit.

Newark National pitcher David Stewart used his curve ball to keep the Mission batters off balance. Sammy Sood came on in the bottom of the sixth with two on and one out to close the game. Josh Roman doubled in the third to drive in a pair of runs for Newark.

Mission opened the tourney with a 9-0 win over Warm Springs at Vallejo Mill, relying on Gaffey's single, double and two-run home run. Curtis ripped an RBI triple, while Cheyenne Walker went two for two. Thomas Rodriguez pounded a double with Vikram Dharasker, Sarkar, Strand and Lo all smacking singles. Gaffey struck out ten while giving up only three hits in a complete-game shutout. Strand and Tylan Ahmed each caught fly balls to add to a solid infield defense in preserving the shutout.

For Warm Springs, the three hits were singles by Matt Doener, Evan Martin and Adam Villaflor.

Minor 10-11

MSJLL lost an 8-7 heart-breaker to Newark National, bowing out of the tournament at Marshall Park. Ryan Henderson slammed a two-run homer and finished with three hits for Mission which also got outstanding pitching from Jordan Terbeek. Henderson went five for seven in the tournament. Jacob Walter with two hits and Austin King aided the hitting attack. Center fielder Aurick Zhou's catch was a defensive highlight.

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