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August 1, 2017 > MSJLL Junior All-Stars are District 14 Champions

MSJLL Junior All-Stars are District 14 Champions

Submitted By Shital Shah

The Mission San Jose Little League Junior All-Stars (MSJLL) defeated the Niles-Centerville Little League (NCLL) in one of the most exciting District 14 Junior All Star championships in recent history. These two teams faced each other three times in the span of one week. MSJLL will advance to the Section 3 Junior Sectionals hosted by District 57 in Pleasanton.

On July 3, the two teams faced each other for the first time in the winner's bracket where MSJLL came from behind with a 2-run deficit, to a 9-3 victory and secured a spot in the Championship game. NCLL fell to the elimination bracket and beat the Warm Springs Little League All-Stars 9-6 to earn their shot at the Championship.

The Championship game was held on July 8 at Vallejo Mill School, home of Niles-Centerville Little League. Niles-Centerville started the game with a 7-run rally in the first inning. MSJLL chipped away at the lead and closed the gap to 7-5 at the middle of the third inning. NCLL added three runs in the bottom of the third to make it a 10-5 game. MSJLL attempted to make a comeback in the top of the seventh inning but fell short 10-7. NCLL won a huge and emotional game as they forced a Òwinner take allÓ game to be played on the following day.

The deciding game was held Sunday, July 9 at Vallejo Mill School. Again, NCLL drew the home team and home field advantage. This time, MSJLL started the game strong by scoring four runs in the top of the first inning. NCLL responded with two runs in the bottom of the second inning making it 4-2. Mission answered with two runs of their own in the top of the third making it 6-2. NCLL answered with four runs in the bottom of the fourth, tying the game at 6-6. Great defense prevailed in the fifth inning as neither team scored a run.

NCLL held MSJLL scoreless in the top of the sixth. In the bottom of the sixth, NCLL scored on a single to centerfield making it a 6-7 game. In the top of the seventh, down 1 run and three outs away from losing the Championship, MSJLL needed a rally. Amazingly, a walk, a single and an intentional walk loaded the bases with no outs. A perfectly executed suicide squeeze gave Mission the tying run. Two more runs were scored on a balk and sacrifice bunt making it a 9-7 game at the end of 7 1/2 innings.

Down to their last three outs and down two runs, NCLL put their first batter on with a single to centerfield. With two outs and the tying run at home plate, NCLL grounded out to second base with a final score of 9-7. Congratulations to NCLL and MSJLL on a terrific All-Stars season.

Team members include Caovinh Nguyen, Ayush Dutta, Sayan Jain, Robi Aslami, Justin Wey, Jainam Shah, Matthew Kinoshita, Krishan Sharma, Neel Desai, Jase Ushiro and Matthew Okino. The team is coached by Bobby Kanno and Harold Kinoshita and managed by Gary Ushiro.

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