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July 19, 2011 > D14 takes commanding lead in Senior Sectionals

D14 takes commanding lead in Senior Sectionals

By Biff Jones

Section 3 (East Bay, Peninsula, Tracy Area) double elimination tournament for Little League Senior (17-19 year olds) All Stars got underway last Saturday, July 16 at District 45's Arroyo High School in San Lorenzo. Only three of the five districts in Section 3 have a team entered in this year's tourney.

Game one saw District 14, represented by Mission San Jose (MSJ) Little League of Fremont face off against District 57, Granada LL (GLL) of Livermore. In a tight pitchers dual of each staff's top pitchers, MSJ prevailed 4-2. MSJ's victory put them in the winners bracket on Sunday at Arroyo where they took on the hosts, D45 represented by Union City National (UCN) LL, who had a bye on Saturday. GLL fell to Monday's loser's bracket and elimination game.

By virtue of a coin flip, MSJ would be the home team in Sunday's game two match up. Top of the first inning UCN lead off hitter, second baseman Alexandro Padilla, singled off MSJ starter, Kevin Finch. Left fielder Anthony Corrales followed with another single. After an out, UCN clean up hitter, first baseman Jesse Rivera, doubled to the fence scoring two runs to give UCN a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the first.

MSJ would answer right back as their lead of hitter, center fielder Jeff Chu, tripled into the right center field gap off of UCN starting pitcher, Gabriel Arias. Chu was immediately driven home my shortstop Kenny Jacoby's single to cut the UCN lead to 2-1 after one.

Finch would find his groove in the second inning as he retired the next seven batters in a row. Meanwhile, MSJ bats stayed hot as they would score three runs in the second, two in the third, three in the fourth and two more in the fifth.

UCN threatened in the third as they loaded the bases on Arias' double, catcher Alex Maldonado's single and a MSJ fielding error. However, UCN could not push any runs across the plate. In the fourth, UCN did get a run on two more MSJ errors, one of the two base variety, but that was all as MSJ cruised to an 11-3 victory.

Leading hitters for MSJ were Jacoby, a triple and two singles; Chu a triple and a walk; third baseman Brandon Fuhs, a double and a single; first baseman James Gaffey, a double and a walk; and catcher Devon Jones and Finch, each with two singles.

MSJ had 15 hits off Arias and relievers Rivera and Justin Ruybal, while Finch gave up just six hits and no base-on-balls.

UCN played GLL in game three on Monday, July 18, with the loser going home and the winner playing MSJ at Arroyo in game four on Tuesday, July 19, at 5:30 p.m. If MSJ beats the once-beaten team on Tuesday, MSJ advances to the Senior Division 2 (Nor Cal) All Star Tournament at Bear Creek High School in Stockton, July 23-29. However, if MSJ loses on Tuesday, same two teams play again in a winner-take-all game five on Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. at Arroyo.

Result of Monday's game unavailable at press time. For scores and schedules go to the TCV Sports website:

Last week in D59 (Gilroy, Milpitas, San Jose) All Stars action, Milpitas LL Majors (11-12) dropped is first game of the double elimination tournament. They then came roaring back through the loser's bracket by rattling off four consecutive elimination game victories. Clock finally stuck midnight on Monday, July 11, when Gilroy National LL defeated Milpitas in the loser's bracket final to end their season.

Gilroy National then lost the championship game to undefeated Gilroy American LL to give GALL the D59 Major All Stars crown. GALL is now playing in the Section 5 (South Bay Area) Major All Stars Tournament at Pajaro Valley LL in Watsonville.

D59 Seniors saw undefeated Berryessa LL of San Jose lose to once beaten Spartan LL of San Jose in the Championship game. Berryessa then came back to defeat Spartan in the winner-take-all game for the D59 Senior crown. Berryessa is playing in the Section 5 Senior Tourney at Sunnyvale Middle School.

In Junior (13-14) action in D59, it was Gilroy LL upsetting undefeated Evergreen LL of San Jose in the Championship game to force another encounter. Evergreen won the second encounter to capture the D59 Junior title. Evergreen Juniors are now playing in the Section 5 Tourney in Salinas.

Minors 10-11 was another Gilroy (National) - Evergreen match up for the championship. Once beaten Evergreen won the Championship game then came back to also win the encore for the D59 Minors 10-11 title. Evergreen Minors are now participating in the Section 5 Tournament hosted by D59 at Reid-Hillview Field (Eastridge LL of San Jose) and Anderson Elementary (Oak Ridge LL of San Jose).

Final D59 Tournament was for the 9-10 year old Minors. This was another all Gilroy affair as undefeated National defeated once beaten American for the title. Section 5 tournament for Minors 9-10 is being held at Branham Hills LL in San Jose.

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