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August 3, 2010 > UCA must win the hard way

UCA must win the hard way

By Biff Jones
Photos By William Mancebo

After winning the first two games of the Senior Little League Division 2 (Nor Cal) tournament at Los Altos High School last week, Union City American Little League played Oakland North-South Little League on Tuesday, July 27, in winners' bracket action of the double-elimination tournament.

UCA would open the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the first when Ryan Loeffler was hit by a pitch and Joe Armstrong followed with a double. After a wild pitch by Oakland starting pitcher Gabe D'Ambrosio plated Loeffler, Armstrong scored when Brandon Yau reached on an Oakland error.

Oakland would get one run back in the third inning before UCA added two more runs in the fourth inning. Zack Vallejo reached base when he struck out and Oakland catcher Wyatt Potter could not hold D'Ambrosio's wild pitch. Dimitri Castro then doubled Vallejo home and he took third on another Oakland error. Shahbaz Khan gave UCA a 4-1 lead after four innings with a sacrifice fly to score Castro.

That would be the end of the scoring for UCA.

Oakland took the lead, 5-4, with a four-run fifth, which would be enough to chase UCA starting pitcher Indo Dahan, who started the game with UCA's top five pitchers were unable to play because of throwing too many pitches the previous four days which included a 12-inning victory.

Anthony Armijo pitched the sixth for UCA giving up two runs, and Jan Mark Benitez threw a scoreless inning in the seventh. Leading the offense for UCA were Armstrong (2 2B, 2BB) and Castro (2B).

With the loss, UCA needed to win three consecutive games to claim the Nor Cal title and advance to the next phase of the Senior League tournament.

On Wednesday, July 28, UCA faced Sutter Area from Yuba City with the loser going home and the winner continuing to play another day. As it turned out, Sutter only had the minimum of nine players suit up for the game and it turned out to be a blow out.

UCA would score three in the first, six in the second and 10 in the third while Sutter could only manage two in their half of the third and one in the fourth inning as the game was called after four and a half innings because of the 10-run mercy rule. UCA won 19-3.

Armstrong led the way with the stick for UCA again, going 4-4 with a double and two-run dinger. Loeffler contributed with a 3-4 night, including a triple. Armijo knocked three singles and Dhahran a pair of singles to help the UCA cause at the plate.

Yau, Aaron Acosta, Castro and Vallejo all pitched for UCA to keep each player's pitch count low enough to be able pitch again the next day if needed.

UCA's win put them up against Oakland in the championship, needing to win on both Thursday, July 29, and Friday, July 30, to win the Nor Cal championship.

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