July 17, 2007 > Niles Centerville smashes their way to the district championship
Niles Centerville smashes their way to the district championship
By Geoff Stanford
As fans of Major League Baseball, every October brings the promise of playoff baseball and crunch time performances. For fans and players of Little League baseball, we are in the midst of October in July. Last Saturday, July 14th, District 14 Majors All-Stars (11-12 year olds) of Niles Centerville matched up against the best of Warm Springs Majors at Vallejo Mills School in Fremont. In this baseball battle of Fremont, the northern contingent, Niles Centerville, took control from the beginning and never looked back.
The first inning started out slowly as Pierce Romero grounded out to shortstop, the only out he would make all day. This was followed by a 1- out single by Nico Estevez. After Austin Sheiber was hit in the head by a pitch, Jeremy Jacob smashed an RBI double to center. Parker Knight followed that with his own RBI single, plating the second run. After another hit batsman, Tyler Mc Adoy (a.k.a. T- Mac) ripped a bases loaded line drive to left that found the fielder's glove, resulting in a sacrifice fly and bringing in the third run of the inning.
Niles Centerville exploded in the top of the 2nd inning for 5 runs. Pierce Romero blasted a two strike pitch way over the center field fence for a two- run homer. Nico Estevez made it back- to- back with his own shot over the left- field wall. Following another hit batsman, big 1st baseman Jeremy Jacobs smashed a laser over the right- field fence, extending the lead to 8- 0.
Warm Springs broke through against Pierce Romero in the bottom of the 2nd when Kevin Kim scored on a passed ball. It would turn out to be the only run scored by Warm Springs on the day, as solid pitching and stellar defense kept them off balance and off the bases for most of the game.
The top of the 3rd started out with Niles Centerville leading 8- 1. Romero wasn't done offensively yet as he belted his second round tripper in as many innings with an absolute missile to left and the game had seen its final run. Romero pitched 4 plus innings, giving up 1 run and striking out 5, along with going 2 for 3 at the plate with 2 homers and a walk.
Romero was knocked out of the game in the bottom of the 5th after Kyle Yoshikawa slapped a single to left followed by a ground rule double that was ripped to left- center by Gabriel Block. Romero was relieved by Parker Knight who came in and shut the door on Warm Springs by striking out the next two batters, ending the threat. He followed that by closing out the game with a quiet 6th inning.
Kyle Yoshikawa came in to pitch for Warm Springs in the top of the 2nd and did an amazing job cooling off the bats of Niles Centerville. Yoshikawa struck out 10 batters over 4 plus innings in relief, but the damage was done. Niles Centerville clinched the district championship with the win and secured their chance to continue the journey in pursuit of the national championship. They next play this Thursday, July 19th, 5 p.m. at San Ramon in the Sectional Tournament at Athen Downs Park. Brackets can be found
at website www.eteamz.com/ca57.