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June 18, 2008 > Trio pitches A's to MSJLL Juniors Title

Trio pitches A's to MSJLL Juniors Title

Submitted By MSJLL Parents for week ending June 14
Photos By MSJLL Parents

The A's picked the perfect time to record their only shutout this season, blanking the White Sox, 5-0, to win the Mission San Jose Little League Juniors playoffs on Thursday, June 12.

Matt Eike, Sam Sanches and Zach Nelson of the A's kept the White Sox, first place winners during the regular season, off balance by limiting their opponents to three hits. The trio struck out seven and did not allow a single runner to reach third base. Tim Tang turned the game into a pitcher's duel with both teams going scoreless until the fifth inning.

Sanches of the A's got things started in the fifth when he scored on an infield grounder. The A's scored again in the sixth on Andrew Chang's sacrifice fly, scoring Eike, who had reached on a single and was moved into scoring position on a bunt from Aditya Ganesh. The seventh inning saw Chris Gaines' two-run single help put the game away for the A's.

The A's reached the finals with an 8-2 win over the Mets, using two singles and two RBI's from Ganesh, another two RBI's from Gaines and two more runs from lead-off hitter Brandon Wong. Reid Marion added two singles and an RBI while A's pitchers, Gaines and Eike, surrendered just two hits.

For the Mets, Brandon Fuhs singled, walked, scored a run and drove in another. Aaron Ferrell added a double and Ryan Mark drove in a run. MSJLL tournament winners move on to Tournament of Champions (TOC) action against the champions from other District 14 (Fremont and Newark) Little Leagues later this month.

The season-long rivalry between the Mariners and the Yankees came down to a single run as the Yankees rallied for a thrilling 7-6 win to claim a spot in the TOC. The two teams shared first place during the regular season with 15-5 records, but the Yankees had received top seeding in the MSJLL playoffs based on a better head-to-head record.

In the championship game, the Mariners raced out to a big lead with six runs in the second inning. Veteran Adam Curtis struck out ten, pitching into the sixth, before the Yankees mounted a comeback.

Curtis helped his own cause with four hits and an RBI. Saad Azam and Carlos Gee smashed doubles and scored for the Mariners, while Ryan Henderson reached base three times and wowed the crowd when made a full body length stretch of a catch in center field.

The Mariners had forced the "what-if" game with a 7-3 win over the Yankees earlier in the week. Cheyenne Walker led the charge, pitching into the fifth inning, by striking out eight Yankee batters. Walker also singled twice, scoring a pair of runs, while Martin Padilla went three for three with two runs scored. Padilla anchored the defense at first before coming in to pitch and close out the win as he caught a line drive hit back to the mound. Guhan Sundar played well at shortstop, contributing a single and an RBI, Patrick Zhu scooped up balls playing second base and Carlos Gee chipped in with an RBI single.

Minor National
The fourth-place Red Sox upended the first place Braves, 6-2, to land a spot in the TOC. The Sox relied on Aaron Lethers' remarkably steady pitching. Lethers allowed two hits and no earned runs in four innings of work while Kyle Dean closed out the victory with five strikeouts over the last two innings. Lucas Williams powered the offense with two singles and a pair of runs scored, Hari Subbaraj singled and scored twice and Charlie Vanek ripped a single. For the Braves, Ethan Hu reached base three times and Aarsh Shah and Sam Lowrey singled twice. Chris Desiniotis added a double.

The Red Sox tripped the Diamondbacks, 3-1, earlier in the week to reach the finals. Mark Gaffey and Dean combined on a three-hitter with Dean pounding out a double and a single. For the D'backs, Ryan King, Jay Menon and Dwayne Bhatia each singled.

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