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July 27, 2010 > San Ramon wins little league tournament

San Ramon wins little league tournament

By Kevin Yin

San Ramon Little League won the 2010 California Section 3 Minors 9-10 Championship after their 11-9 victory over Salida Little League in the title game on Wednesday, July 21, at Vallejo Mill Elementary School in Fremont.

Entering second round play on July 19, four teams remained in the tournament field. San Ramon and Salida met in the winners' bracket semifinal. The winner would advance immediately to the championship round.

San Leandro Little League and Newark American Little League faced off in an elimination bracket game; the loser would be eliminated and the winner would play the loser of the San Ramon-Salida game for the opportunity to advance to the championship round.

San Leandro defeated Newark American, 15-3, in the elimination game on Monday, July 19. Newark American opened the scoring in the top of the first with an RBI double by Ramon Barragan, but Newark's lead would be short lived. In the bottom of the inning, San Leandro's first three batters each hit doubles. By the inning's close, San Leandro was ahead 4-1.

Things went downhill for Newark American from there. After Newark batters went down 1-2-3 in the top of the second, San Leandro removed most of the doubt from the contest with a devastating offensive display, scoring nine runs off of nine hits, including two RBI doubles by Matt Hineline and O.J. Aihie.

With San Leandro holding a 13-1 lead after the second, the rest of the game seemed to be merely a formality. The game was called in the fourth inning on account of the "10-Run Rule," and San Leandro claimed a 15-3 victory, eliminating Newark American from the tournament.

San Ramon defeated Salida 7-1 in the winners' semifinal on July 19, lifting San Ramon to the title round and setting the stage for an elimination game between Salida and San Leandro. Salida trounced San Leandro, 12-4, on July 20, earning a rematch with San Ramon for the Section 3 title on July 21.

The rematch bore little resemblance to San Ramon's easy win two days prior. San Ramon jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead thanks to RBI singles by Jack Powers and Ryan Cole and a two-RBI double by Garrett Lam, but Salida responded in the bottom of the first with RBI singles by Matt Dallas, Brandon Pasion and Zack Stuart, narrowing the lead to 4-3.

After two innings of sharp defense and tough pitching by both teams, San Ramon broke the close game open in the fourth and fifth innings, pushing the lead to 8-3.

Salida came right back with a furious rally in bottom of the fifth. A pair of bases-loaded walks made the score 8-5 when Dallas stunned both teams' supporters by hitting a grand slam over the left field fence.

San Ramon entered the top of the 6th trailing for the first time, 9-8, but they showed their composure, methodically retaking an 11-9 lead, thanks in part to a two-RBI triple by Nick McCambridge. Salida didn't have one last rally in them, and San Ramon won the game, and with it the Section 3 championship.

San Ramon advanced to the Northern California Division II 9-10 All-Star Tournament in Chico, which began on Saturday, July 24. Through the weekend, San Ramon, representing Section 3, annihilated both Section 4, Lincoln Little League, 14-1, on Saturday and Section 1, Petaluma National, 15-3, on Sunday.

San Ramon will continue its tournament on Tuesday, July 27, against Section 2, Sutter Buttes, at 6 p.m. To follow scores, log onto the Tri-City Voice Sports website at sports.tricityvoice.com.

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