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July 24, 2007 > Niles-Centerville takes second place

Niles-Centerville takes second place

By Jill Erickson

The Junior Division All Stars from Niles-Centerville Little League (NCLL) represented our local Tri-City District 14 in the CA Section 3 tournament last week and claimed second place to Half Moon Bay Little League. The tournament was proudly hosted by CA District 14 at Vallejo Mill School in Fremont, giving NCLL a rare home field advantage in the week-long tournament.

NCLL won their opening game 5-3 on July 14 over Tracy American LL (CA Dist 67) with strong pitching from Billy Nevin and lots of good defensive plays.

Less than 24 hours later NCLL was playing Half Moon Bay (CA Dist 52) in the semi-final game. Half Moon Bay had beaten San Ramon Valley (CA Dist 57) 12-2 the previous day. AJ Bagoje pitched a strong game, and the score was tied 3-3 after 6 innings. In the top of the 7th, Casey Jennings launched a solo home run over the left center field fence, giving NCLL the lead. Changing pitchers in the 7th, NCLL ran into defensive trouble and allowed Half Moon Bay to score 2 runs and take a free pass into the championship game.

Dropping into the elimination bracket on July 17, Nevin was back on the mound for NCLL. Led by Jennings' 3rd inning grand slam and multiple hits by Sean O'Hare, a 13-3 victory over San Ramon put NCLL back into the championship game the following night.

The July 18 championship game was a rematch between Niles-Centerville and Half Moon Bay. The NCLL bats came alive early, scoring 6 runs in the second inning and not looking back on their way to a 16-0 victory. Bryce Fryan pitched all 5 innings for Niles-Centerville, who pushed Half Moon Bay to the "what-if" game in this double-elimination tournament.

The following night was a different story for our NCLL All Stars. Half Moon Bay pitchers shut down the NCLL hitters. Going through four pitchers, NCLL unraveled as they allowed numerous walks, made defensive errors, and ultimately let Half Moon Bay take the CA Section 3 Junior Championship with an 11-1 victory.

Half Moon Bay now advances to the 2007 Northern California Junior Divisional All Star Tournament which started July 21 at the University Of Pacific's Baseball fields in Stockton. There are six sections in Northern California, from Bakersfield in the South, to Crescent City in the North, and all their Champions will play for the right to enter the Western Regional Junior All Star Tournament.

Congratulations to our Niles-Centerville Little League Junior All Star team for a successful postseason.

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