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Northgate one win from District 67 title

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Northgate one win from District 67 title

Starting pitcher Andrew Ruiz gave the Northgate All-Stars four innings of slid work before leaving the game with an injury Tuesday against Tracy National.


POSTED July 7, 2010 2:43 a.m.
The Northgate Little League Junior all-stars bounced back after forfeiting a five-run lead with a seven-run fifth inning to cruise past Tracy National 16-10 Tuesday at Sierra High.

The victory moved Northgate into the District 67 championship game Saturday with its opponent to be determined in losers bracket action. A victory Saturday would give Northgate the title, but a loss would force them into a winner-takes-all contest Sunday.

Northgate jumped out to a 2-0 lead in its first at-bat, as both Dakota Conners and Joe Menzel came around to score after base hits. Conners swiped second and third before advancing home on a wild pitch that Menzel would eventually score on after an errant throw to third.

Starting pitcher Andrew Ruiz was effective early, holding Tracy National to a run in the first and a run in the second. He got into trouble in the third, but was able to work out of a bases loaded jam by inducing a pop-up, a ground-ball to third and a strikeout to end the Tracy threat.

Tracy was able to get things going in the fourth, thanks to a couple of Northgate errors and a bases clearing double from Spencer Blackwell. Blackwell’s double tied it up at 7-7 and kicked the Northgate offense into gear.

Ruiz led off the fifth, but couldn’t finish his at-bat after fouling a ball off his left leg. Nate Sutton came on to finish the at-bat and drew a full-count walk after a 25 minute delay. Northgate responded after his at-bat with three consecutive walks and back-to-back RBI base hits from Brad Tajii and Conners for a five-run cushion.

Northgate would add another run when Sutton came back to the plate and got an RBI single and then a pair in their half of the sixth. With Ruiz departed in a ambulance, Northgate brought on Robbie Gleockler to close the door. Gleockler got a three-up three-down fifth and retired Tracy National without excitement in the seventh to finalize the win.

Conners finished the game 4 for 4 with a double, five RBIs and a pair of runs scored. Gleockler was 3 for 4 with three runs scored, and Tajii finished 3 for 3 with three runs scored.

Northgate will next play at 10 a.m. Saturday at Monticello Field in Tracy.
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