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July 5, 2011 > D14 Minor and Junior All Star recap

D14 Minor and Junior All Star recap

By Gary van den Heuvel

It's three down, one to go for the Niles-Centerville Little League (NCLL) Junior All-Stars, who only need one more win to bring home the Division 14 Junior All-Star Tournament crown.

Niles got by their first-round opponent Centerville American LL by a 6-3 score (June 25), on the strength of a four-run seventh inning. After two hit batsmen, Brian Knight singled in a run, Kyle Emory reached on an infield error, and Nick Lawrence cleared the bags with a three-run homer.

Niles' June 27 adversary was Mission San Jose LL, who'd battered Warm Springs 19-8 in their first round match-up at Newark Memorial High School. NCLL benefited from a shaky defensive first inning by MSJ, and led 8-1 after one inning. MSJ made this game an exciting contest by rallying from a 13-3 deficit, avoiding the 10-run rule with five runs in the fifth inning. But by game's end, Niles-Centerville had hung on for a 16-13 victory in a game nearly called due to darkness.

Tony Chavez had a stellar game in NCLL's 12-0 semifinal smoking of Centerville National LL, who'd beaten Fremont American (8-0) and Newark National (10-4) in their first two rounds. Chavez pitched a complete game shutout (five innings before the 10-run rule ended it), and drove in NCLL's first two runs with a bases-loaded double in a six-run second inning. Niles salted the game away with five more in the third, the big blast being a two-run double off the bat of Emory.

Niles-Centerville should be well-rested for the final, which will be played July 8 at 5:30 p.m. at Gomes Elementary School. With the tournament's double-elimination format, Niles would have to be beaten twice (the "what-if?" game will be played the following day, if necessary) to get knocked out of the tournament.

Centerville National's loss to NCLL dropped them into a loser's bracket semifinal against Mission San Jose LL (July 6), who rebounded from their loss to Niles by beating Fremont American 2-1 and Centerville American 13-9.

In the 10-11 Minors All-Star Championships, Warm Springs Little League (WSLL) brought plenty of lumber to beat Niles-Centerville 12-11, before putting a 23-3 hurting on Newark National LL (June 30). This game was close for the first two innings, with Warm Springs leading 5-3, their big blast coming on a two-run inside-the-park home run (a shot that nearly left the field at Gomes School) by Justin Pickney.

The floodgates opened in the third inning - 14 walks, 6 hits, and some miscues in the field produced a 14-run inning for Warm Springs. John Dutra had the big blast of the inning, a 2-run triple.

Warm Spring's July 7 semi-final opponent will be Newark American LL, who edged Mission San Jose 3-0. The loser's bracket in the double-elimination tourney begins July 5 at 5:30 PM at Warm Springs Elementary School, pitting Mission against Niles. Newark National will be waiting for the winner of that match (July 7 at Newark Memorial High School). The final will be played July 11, at 5:30 at Warm Springs, with the "what-if" game played on July 12 at the same site, if necessary.

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