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RED HOT SOX

Gordon’s 3-hit masterpiece leads Sox past Yankees

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RED HOT SOX

Derek Gordon struck out six in a three-hit, one-run performance on the hill to lead the Weston Ranch Red Sox past the Northgate Yankees, 6-1, Wednesday at Gillen Field.

BRANDON PETERSEN/The Bulletin


POSTED June 18, 2009 2:11 a.m.
The Northgate Little League Major Division champion Yankees are tough to beat.

Wednesday at Gillen Field on the campus of Neil Hafley School, Derek Gordon was tougher.

In the quarterfinal round of the District 67 Tournament of Champions, the Weston Ranch Red Sox starter was outstanding, striking out six in five and a third innings work, to lead the streaking Sox past the Yankees, 6-1.

With the win, Weston Ranch now moves on to face Tracy National Saturday at 9 a.m. for a chance to ink its name in the tournament championship round.

Northgate, meanwhile, will gear up to face Tracy American Friday at 6 p.m. as the long trek up through the loser’s bracket now begins in earnest.

Not to worry though, says Yankees skipper Larry Lucchetti, whose team faced a similar postseason situation a year ago.

“All our pitching is set, we didn’t waste anybody (today),” he said. “We’re going to follow the same game plan. These kids are tough.”

Gordon was brilliant from start to finish as he eclipsed the 85-pitch mark with one out in the sixth after having allowed just three hits and one earned run.

The Red Sox leadoff hitter was a catalyst on offense as well, as his two-run triple in the top of second scoring Juan Ramos and Parker Hardy gave Weston Ranch a 4-0 lead.

“I just wanted to go out there and hit,” Gordon said.

An inning earlier, Colton Mallette made it 2-0 Weston Ranch with a two-run double that plated Vincent Hernandez and Richard Halh.

The key to the Red Sox victory, however, was a flawless defensive performance.

“There was a lot of pressure, but I just threw strikes,” Gordon said. “My teammates were behind me. I just wanted to give us confidence.”

Weston Ranch went without committing a single error, sent the Yankees down in order twice and faced just four batters in three other innings.

“That’s a very good team,” Weston Ranch assistant coach Paul Hardy said of the Yankees. “The secret was Derek on the mound throwing strikes, and knowing that he had a good defense behind him. (The Yankees) played well; we were just able to make plays in the field.”

The Red Sox made it 6-0 in the top of the fourth when Yarman Zepeda scored on Ramos’ RBI double.

Nick Lucchetti came round in the home half on Jake Larkin’s infield single.

“We had some timely errors (on defense) with runners on,” Larry Lucchetti said. “Our pitching was good, we didn’t walk many people. (Gordon) was good. We didn’t get the errors; (their defense) was pretty solid.”

Said Hardy: “We were able to go ahead in the first and second innings and hold on to that lead. (Our defense has) been our key to success this season.”

Chris Ah Yo got the start for Northgate, while Lucchetti and Jake Pruitt closed it out.

The Yankees’ rotation walked just two batters, and Pruitt struck out the first five he faced in finishing the final two frames, but three costly errors led to three unearned Red Sox runs.
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