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July 26, 2011 > Mission San Jose moves on to Nor Cal

Mission San Jose moves on to Nor Cal

By Biff Jones
Photos By Mike Heightchew

Mission San Jose (MSJ) Little League of Fremont representing District 14 (Fremont and Newark) played D45 (Hayward/Union City area) representative, Union City National (UCN) last Tuesday, July 19. It was the Championship game of the Section 3 (East Bay, Peninsula and Tracy area) Senior (15-16 year olds) Division of Little League Baseball.

In the double-elimination format, MSJ was undefeated and needed only to win once over UCN to advance to the Division 2 Nor Cal Senior Tournament. However, UCN already had a loss and would have to beat MSJ twice to advance. D45 San Lorenzo American LL hosted the tournament at Arroyo High School but by virtue of a coin flip, MSJ would be the home team.

In the bottom of the second, Fuhs led off with a double, which was followed by three consecutive singles by first baseman James Gaffey, catcher Devon Jones and right fielder Reid Marion to break the scoreless tie with two runs. After an out MSJ manager Wayne Chung called for a suicide squeeze bunt and left fielder Wyatt Ott executed it perfectly to give MSJ a 3-0 lead. Meanwhile Fuhs kept the UCN batters off balance and he retired the side in order in the second, third and fourth innings.

MSJ broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth with an eight-run explosion on singles by Marion, Ott, center fielder Jeff Chu, Brandon Facha, Fuhs and Gaffey, a walk to shortstop Kenny Jacoby and two UCN errors which allowed Jones and Marion to reach base safely. MSJ would send 12 batters to the plate the fourth inning uprising as MSJ took an 11-0 lead into the top of the fifth.

Top of five required UCN to score at least two runs or the game would be called on the 10-run mercy rule. However, starting pitcher Fuhs would have none of it as he again retired the side in order. Fuhs ended up with a five-inning one hitter. He struck out six and walked none in going the distance.

For UCN Manager, Eli Ramirez III, the season was over while MSJ moved on to the Nor Cal Championship at Bear Creek High School in Stockton, June 23-29 where they would play five other Nor Cal Section winners in another double elimination tournament.

Last Saturday, July 23, MSJ opened Nor Cal play against Section 4 (Sacramento area) representative, Rocklin LL from D11 and MSJ got pounded 12-2 to send them to the loser's bracket. Next game was Monday, July 25, against Section 1 (North Bay area) winner Oakland LL from D4. Results unavailable at press time. Loser of that elimination game goes home for 2011 while the winner continues on Tuesday, July 26, 5:30 p.m. at the home field of Morada LL in Stockton.

As long as MSJ continues to win each day they will play each subsequent day at 5:30 p.m. through Friday, July 29, at Bear Creek High School. For all scores and future schedules check the TCV Sports website, http//sports.tricityvoice.com. Winner of Division 2 Nor Cal Seniors moves on to Western Regionals in Ontario, August 2-9 against nine other divisional winners in a pool play format.

In Section 3 Junior (13-14 year olds) Division action of Little League Baseball last week, all five districts had a team in the double elimination tournament in Tracy. Representing each district were D14, Mission San Jose; D45, Castro Valley American (CVA) LL; D52 (Peninsula area), Half Moon Bay (HMB) LL; D57 (San Ramon area) Livermore National (LN) LL; and host D67 (Tracy area), Tracy American (TA) LL.

Opening day of Section 3 on Saturday, July 16, saw LN defeat MSJ 12-0 and HMB beat CVA, 14-2. Sunday in winner's bracket it was LN over TA 10-0, and in the losers bracket elimination game MSJ sent CVA packing 22-1. Monday's winner's bracket finally had a close game as LN edged HMB 10-9 to send LN into the Championship game needing only one more win to advance to the Division 2 Nor Cal Tournament.

Tuesday and Wednesday each had loser's bracket elimination games and Tuesday saw MSJ eliminate the hosts, 6-3. Then Wednesday, MSJ had their season come to an end as they were eliminated by HMB in another nail biter 12-11.

Thursday undefeated LN took on once beaten HMB. HMB forced a winner-take-all game on Friday, July 22, by defeating LN 11-1. However, the comeback by HMB ended as LN won the finale 6-4 to move onto Divisional play.

LN joined six other section winners in the Division 2 Nor Cal double elimination tournament hosted by D9 Salinas and it is now being played at North County LL in Prunedale, July 23-29. That winner goes to Western Regionals in Laguna Niguel August 2-9 against 11 other Divisional winners in a pool play format.

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