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July 29, 2009 > NC and UCA battle to SLL Sectional Finals

NC and UCA battle to SLL Sectional Finals

By Biff Jones

Niles-Centerville of Fremont and Union City American Senior (14-16 year olds) All Stars advanced through the five-team Section 3 Tournament at District 52's Sequoia High School in Redwood City. A team had to lose twice to be eliminated and have their 2009 season end. Winner would move on to the Division 2 (Nor Cal) Tournament in Stockton.

NC, representing District 14 (Fremont/Newark) and UCA, from District 45 (Union City/Hayward Area) played Game One of the Sectional on Saturday, July 18.

UCA opened the scoring in the top of the first inning with two runs, then added two more in the top of the second and one in the fourth. However, the potential second run of the fourth inning was cut down at home on a great throw from the outfield and equally great tag by catcher Casey Jennings.

NC finally got on the board with a run in the bottom of the fourth, then two runs in their half of the fifth only to have UCA answer with two in the top of the sixth inning. NC got the two runs back in the bottom of the sixth, but that would be the end of the scoring for a final of 7-5 in favor of UCA.

UCA moved on in the winner's bracket while NC would have to go through the loser's bracket with no room to spare.

Leading hitters for UCA were Brandon Yau, a double and two singles; Julian Grona, a double and two singles; Joe Armstrong, a double; and Brandon Orias, two singles.

For NC, Mark Wik walked, singled and hit a two-run homerun; Cody Labon had two singles; and Matt Knight knocked a double.

Armstrong pitched the first six innings for UCA and was relieved by Yau in the seventh. For NC, Billy Nevin started and went four and two-thirds innings, followed by Knight, one and a third, and Beau Lawrence, one inning.

On Sunday, July 19, UCA defeated Redwood City National, 4-2, while NC eliminated San Ramon with a 20-9 thumping.

Monday, July 20, saw UCA continue undefeated as they beat Manteca, 3-2, and NC stayed alive by winning over RCN, 8-6.

As the only undefeated team remaining, UCA had Tuesday off as they awaited the winner of NC and Manteca which was won by NC, 6-4.

This set up the show down between Districts 45 and 14 with UCA needing just one more win to advance to divisional play and NC having to defeat UCA twice for the Section 3 Championship.

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