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July 25, 2006 > Tri-Cities Area Little League Majors Teams Participate in Sectional Tournament Play

Tri-Cities Area Little League Majors Teams Participate in Sectional Tournament Play

by Biff Jones

Newark American Little League Majors (11-12), representing District 14 (Fremont Area), opened Section 3 play against Palo Alto National of District 52 last Thursday, July 20th at Mitchell Park in Palo Alto.  Palo Alto started the scoring with one run in the top of the first on a wild pitch by NALL starting pitcher Chris Lewis.  That was to be Lewis' only inning on the mound as he was replaced by Tony Mendez who would work the next three innings.  Lewis moved to Mendez's position of shortstop but did not finish the game as he and starting catcher, Joey Torres, both had to leave the game early with hand injuries.

Mendez delivered a single in the second inning to record NALL's first hit which Newark later would find to be a rare commodity. Palo Alto pitcher Drake Sweezy allowed only more hit the rest of the way, a bunt single by NALL back-up catcher Larry Price in the 6th, to record a complete game shutout.  Meanwhile, PAN would score a run in the third on Austin Braff's home run, five more in the 5th, and four in the top of the sixth, including another solo home run by Braff, to make the final score 11-0.  Since NALL was the home team for the game, they were able to take their turn at bat in the bottom of the sixth before the ten run mercy rule went into effect.

Also playing that day in the Section 3 Tournament was District 45 (Union City/Hayward Area) representative Union City National.  UCN opponent was Danville from District 57.  In a close, hard-fought game with the score tied 5-5 in the bottom of the 6th, Danville loaded the bases before coming away with a 9-5 victory on a walk-off, grand slam home run.  The loss would send UCN to the loser's bracket where they would face NALL on Friday the 21st, with the loser going home for the summer.  It would be Newark American, who's summer of  Little League Baseball would come to an end, as UCN prevailed 11-8, to keep their hopes alive of moving on to the championship game.

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