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June 21, 2011 > Giants grab Big League title

Giants grab Big League title

By Sida Lu
Photos By Mike Heightchew

District 14 of California Little League Baseball featured its Big League Division tournament over the weekend of Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19. Despite low turnouts for the 16-18 year old division, three teams were able to form - Mission San Jose Little League Astros, Warm Springs Little League Mudcats and the Giants, which were an assembled team from the remaining six D14 leagues: Newark American and National, Fremont American, Centerville American and National, and Niles-Centerville.

After the regular season ended, the Giants were awarded the top seed of the three-team tournament, and a bye in the first round. Warm Springs and MSJ played the early game on Saturday, an elimination match, for the right to play the Giants in the Big League Finals at Gomes Elementary in Fremont. Mission was able to escape the elimination game and rode that momentum into a victory over the Giants in the late game on Saturday. However, with the Giants needing to be topped twice to be eliminated, they were able to bounce back in the winner-take-all match on Sunday to claim the title.

In the Saturday morning game, the Astros and Mudcats went back and forth, neither team giving up much of an advantage until Mission San Jose's Brandon Fuhs hit a grand slam to put the Astros ahead for good, 11-8.

After some downtime, the Astros geared up for their second game of the day-a match against the Giants and quickly jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. In the second inning, Ohlone's Chris Gonzales attempted to blow the game wide open for the Astros with a grand slam of his own, pushing the score to 5-0.

Yet the Giants were far from done, managing to score three more runs to pull within two before Astros second baseman, Aaron Ferrell, made the pivotal game saving double play, saving a critical two runs for the Astros. The Astros fielding would hold the Giants in check for the rest of the game and preserve their 5-3 victory.

Astros pitcher Kenny Jacoby kept the pressure on the Giants for six innings before Brandon Facha closed out the game for him. Also notable for this game was Brandon Fuhs, who continued his sharp hitting by going 2-3 in the game.

The next day, the primarily Mission San Jose dominated Astros team faced off in the championship game against their familiar rivals, the Giants. These two teams had met three times prior, with the Astros defeating the Giants last year for the championship. History would not repeat itself, however, as the Giants jumped on the Astros early and often, racing out to an 8-0 lead that they would not relinquish.

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