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July 19, 2011 > MSJLL Seniors off to quick start

MSJLL Seniors off to quick start

Submitted By Ed Hugo

The District 14 champion Mission San Jose Little League (MSJLL) senior all-stars got off to a quick start with two straight wins in the Section 3 tournament by downing Granada (Livermore) 4-2 and Union City National (UCN) 11-3. MSJLL now moves to the final game on Tuesday, July 19, and must be beaten twice by either Granada or UCN.

In the victory over Granada on Saturday, July 16, Brandon Facha, Kenny Jacoby and Brandon Fuhs combined on the hill to limit Granada to four hits while striking out seven batters and walking only three. Granada's runs came from some loud bats as they hit first inning home run and back-to-back triples in the fourth inning to account for their two runs.

After falling behind 1-0 on the first inning homer, MSJLL bounced back with two runs of their own in the top of the third inning. Kevin Finch led off the inning by reaching base on an error. He eventually scored on a single by Jacoby who also came around to score on a Granada error. MSJLL added two insurance runs in the fourth inning as James Gaffey led off the inning with a shot to the centerfield fence that found Gaffey on third base with a triple. Devon Jones drove Gaffey in with a single. Later in the inning, Reid Marion lined a single and came around to score on Wyatt Ott's base hit. The MSJLL pitchers then shut the door on Granada by retiring nine of the last 11 batters they faced.

MSJLL came back on Sunday, July 17, to face an experienced UCN team. Kevin Finch took the hill for MSJLL and, after giving up two first inning runs, was in complete control throughout the game. Finch showed his mastery on the hill in this complete game effort by mixing in several types of off speed pitches with an occasional fastball. After the first inning UCN uprising, Finch allowed only three hits over the last six innings of the game as he struck out four, walked no one and continually kept the UCN batters off balance. Finch was supported by a steady defense highlighted by Jeff Chu's tremendous running and sliding catch in short centerfield that snuffed out a potential UCN rally in the fifth inning and an around-the-horn double play to end the game.

After being held to seven hits the day before against Granada, the MSJLL offense broke out with 15 hits and 11 runs against UCN. Chu gave an indication of what was to come as he led off the bottom of the first with a long line drive triple to right centerfield. Kenny Jacoby followed with the first of his three hits to drive Chu home. Jacoby would end the game with three hits and three runs driven in which also included a long triple to the right centerfield gap. Finch, Devon Jones, James Gaffey and Brandon Fuhs also had multiple hit games for MSJLL and Wyatt Ott added a clutch two-run, two-out single that increased MSJLL's lead from 4-2 to 6-2 in the third inning. Overall, MSJLL scored in every inning except the sixth.

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