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July 29, 2009 > MSJ All Stars win D14; fall in Sectionals

MSJ All Stars win D14; fall in Sectionals

Submitted By MSJLL Parents

Mission San Jose's 10-11 year old All Star team made a clean sweep of District 14.

MSJLL opened with a 12-2 win over Niles-Centerville. Both Andrew Chang and Stanley Chiang powered the offense, each hitting homeruns, while collecting two RBIs, three hits and three runs each.

MSJLL then prevailed in two one-run games against a gutsy Newark American team, and sandwiched a 9-4 victory over Newark National in between, to advance to the Section 3 All Star tournament in Tracy.

In the second round of the District 14 All Star Tournament, Newark American jumped to an early 6-1 lead, scoring four in the first, and two in the second. But MSJ's Mike Pyle found his stuff for the next two innings and shut NALL down.

MSJLL kept the pressure on, picking up two more runs while leaving five on base through the fifth inning. In the top of the sixth, Mission's Ryland Mortlock walked to lead off. Newark recorded two outs while Mortlock worked his way around the bases to score, making it 6-4. Down to their last out, and the bases loaded, Sam Lowrey drove in two to tie the game at 6, before Chiang sent home the seventh run for Mission's first lead of the game.

The defense stopped a first inning threat by Newark National, and Mission's bats came alive as they score three in the bottom of the first. NNLL was not giving up, as they came back and score three in the top of the second to tie. Mission's Lowrey, however, shut NNLL down from there on, giving up only four hits in the next four innings. Meanwhile, MSJ batted around in the third inning, scoring four runs on five hits. Two more were added in the fourth.

In the Championship game, Mission and Newark American squared off again. This time it was Mission who jumped out to the big lead and Newark American who poured it on to come back. NALL scored in the top of the first, but Mission sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom half scoring five runs on six hits. Mission added three in the second and two in the third to lead 10-1.

In the fourth, NALL started its came back, scoring seven runs, capped by a two-run homer by Luke Lombana. Nathan Pope closed the inning with Mission holding a tense 10-8 lead.

In the sixth, NALL scored their ninth run on a double and a single. But Pope first registered a strikeout and then a groundout to seal the victory and the flag for MSJ. The Mission offense was again led by Andrew Chang (3 H, 3 R), Sam Lowrey (2 H, 2 R, 2 RBIs), Stanley Chiang (3-3, 1 R).

After winning the District 14 All Star Tournament, Mission San Jose traveled to the heat of Tracy to play in the 10-11 year old Section 3 All Star Tournament.

Seeded against the always strong District 57 representative, Danville team, Mission played tough ball, but fell, 11-0, in the opener. Danville homered twice in the first to lead, 3-0. They struck again for one in the second, four in the third and one in the fourth. Sam Lowrey and Mike Pyle pitched for MSJ against Danville, who eventually won the Sectional.

Mission next faced San Lorenzo American from District 45. Falling behind 2-0 after two innings, Mission again clawed back with a run in the third on a double and some smart base running by pitcher Mike Pyle. Pyle pitched a great game in the Tracy heat, striking out four and giving up only two runs. Ryland Mortlock tied it at 2 when he singled to left in the fifth, stole second and third, before coming on Chang's sacrifice fly.

The game went to the final frame tied, 2-2. Mission's reliever, Nathan Pope, struck out the first batter, then walked the second. The third batter ripped the cover off the first pitch, but right at second baseman Aaron Havard, who snagged the ball and calmly threw to first to double up the runner.

In the bottom of the sixth, again with two outs, Mission batters Kyle Dean and Mike Pyle singled, and advanced to second and third, bringing up the defensive hero, Havard. Havard sent a 1-2 pitch rocketing down the right field line for a double and drive in the winning RBI.

After the win, Mission had to face the host Tracy team from District 67. Tracy struck for 3 in the first. In the second, after Stanley Chiang and Kyle Dean singled, Mike Pyle blasted a homer over center into the teeth of a 40 mph wind. Mission added three more in the third to lead 6-3. But Tracy came back in the fifth with three hits, including a home run to tie it, 6-6. In the sixth, Tracy took a one-run lead, which they held on to for the win.

Mission's 10-11 All Stars finished 5-2 in District and Section post season play.

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