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June 21, 2011 > Milpitas A's hold on for first round win

Milpitas A's hold on for first round win

By Biff Jones

Little League Baseball Tournament of Champions (TOC) got underway last weekend for District 59 (Milpitas and San Jose) teams. In D59, TOC is being held for the Juniors (ages 13-14) and Majors (11-12) divisions. Top teams in each of D59 leagues will face each other in a single elimination tourney.

On Sunday, June 19, Milpitas Little League A's hosted Oak Valley LL Giants at Milpitas Sports Complex; Giants would be the home team by virtue of a coin flip. Both teams would put two men on base in the first inning but neither could score.

Milpitas, managed by Eddie Bell and assisted by Pete Scrempos and Chris Hunger, would get on the board first in the second inning when first baseman Jason Scrempos led off with a single. Scrempos would then steal second and after two outs, Scrempos scored when right fielder Nate Wilson reached on an error. Wilson took second on a wild pitch then scored on second baseman Travis Bell's two-out single.

In the second, the A's again held the Giants scoreless before the Athletics broke out with a big top of the third. With one out, Milpitas strung together four consecutive singles by catcher Trevor Jiminez, shortstop Kevin Fizer, Scrempos and starting pitcher Sid Navales. After the second out, Wilson drew a walk, Bell was hit be a pitch and left fielder Jonah Castro delivered another two-out single. Bell would score run number six of the inning on a wild pitch but Castro was thrown out at the plate trying to score behind Bell. A's now had a commanding 8-0 lead after 2 innings.

However, Oak Valley was far from dead as they answered with a five run bottom of the third when the first seven batters of the inning reached base safely on two walks, four singles and a double. Giants would add another run in the bottom of fourth to cut the lead to 8-6.

Both teams would go to their bull pens early with the Giants using three relievers, one twice, starting in the third inning and the A's brought on Scrempos in the fourth after Navales lasted 3 2/3 innings. Milpitas would add a run in the fifth when Navales reached on an error, center fielder Miguel Gonzales walked and Wilson singled for a 9-6 lead after five innings.

Only nine of the A's 12 member team showed up for this Father's Day encounter so when Scrempos came on in relief, Wilson moved to first base and Navales took Wilson's spot in right. This was enough to get the job done as Scrempos allowed just one run, two hits and three walks while striking out six in 3 1/3 innings of relief in the 9-7 victory.

A's will next play Tuesday, June 21 against the Gilroy LL White Sox in D59 Junior TOC semifinal action. Game time is set for 6 p.m. at Milpitas Sports Complex. Final is scheduled for Friday, June 24, 6:30 p.m. at MSC.

Another D59 Junior TOC game saw Milpitas Rays travel to Quimby Oaks Middle School in San Jose on Saturday, 18th, where they were defeated by the Evergreen LL Giants 10-0 to end the Rays TOC season.

In D59 Majors TOC play, Milpitas, after a first round bye, will travel to Alum Rock in San Jose for a quarterfinal game against Berryessa LL of San Jose. Game is Tuesday, June 21, 5:30 p.m. Semifinal will be Friday, June 24, 5:30 p.m. at Evergreen LL with the final, Sunday, June 26, 1 p.m. at Oakridge LL in San Jose.

D45 (Castro Valley, Hayward, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Union City) Majors and Minors (8-11) have been playing a double elimination format TOC over the past 10 days. Leagues involved are from Castro Valley: CV American LL and CV National LL; from Hayward: Hayward West National LL, Mt. Eden LL, Tennyson American LL and Treeview LL; from San Leandro: San Leandro LL; from San Lorenzo: Ashland LL, SL American LL and SL National LL; and from Union City: UC American LL and UC National LL.

D45 TOC Majors action this week had a loser's bracket elimination game on Monday, June 20, between San Lorenzo National and San Leandro. Score unavailable at press. Winner will play Treeview on Tuesday, June 21, at San Lorenzo National for TOC Championship. If Treeview loses, a winner take all game will be played between the Tuesday opponents next day, June 22, also at SLZN. Both games would start at 6 p.m.

D45 TOC Minors has the same scenario this week as the Majors. Monday it was San Lorenzo American and Tennyson American facing off with the winner meeting San Leandro on Tuesday at San Lorenzo American. Then if San Leandro loses the Tuesday game, same two teams play Wednesday, also at SLZA with both games having a 6 p.m. first pitch.

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