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Area Little League teams go 1 for 3

Spreckels Park seniors triumphant in Section 3 opener

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POSTED July 19, 2009 1:40 a.m.
REDWOOD CITY — Swinging for the big hits wasn’t working.

Stringing together little ones and aggressively running the base paths did.

Spreckels Park’s 15-16-year-old all-stars pieced together a four-run flurry in the top of the fifth inning to down San Ramon 6-4 in the first round of the California Little League Section 3 Senior Division Tournament Saturday at Sequoia High.

San Ramon was ahead 2-1 after four innings.

Jason Angelo’s speed ignited the rally, as he forced an infielder to hurry an errant throw to first to reach. Angelo stole second to put the tying run in scoring position, and Dominic Alejandre moved him over with a sacrifice bunt.

“That just set the tone for the whole inning,” Spreckels Park manager Greg Leland said. “We did a real nice job of using the bunt and running the bases to put pressure on their defense.
“We were real scrappy and we needed to be. We only hit two balls out of the infield that inning, but we made the most out of what we got.”

Brian McAllaster knotted the score and delivered the go-ahead run after reaching on a fielder’s choice in which Angelo beat the throw home.
Joe Modesto, who finished 2 for 4 with a double, and Bret Wilson each had RBI singles in the inning. Alex Arreola walked and scored on a wild pitch.

Rodrigo Contreras added a 2-for-3 effort.

Winning pitcher Johnny Waggy was rock solid in his four-inning start, giving up two runs on five hits while striking out one. Joey Valencia pitched the final three for the save.

“It was a real fun game, involving two good baseball teams, to be a part of,” Leland said. “We got some really good pitching from Johnny Waggy and Joey Valencia, and that was the difference of the game.

“You run into a lot of good teams at this level, so it’s important to throw strikes and play defense, and we did a real good job of that today.”

Spreckels Park will await the winner of today’s Union City-Redwood City winner’s bracket quarterfinal and next plays Monday evening at 5:30.

MAJORS
Hillsborough 19, Northgate 12
At San Lorenzo Ballpark, Northgate’s 11-12-year-olds got their wake-up call on the first day of Section 3 action.
Hillsborough collected 19 hits and scored seven runs in the fourth inning alone to break it open. Northgate nearly lost via the 10-run rule, but Lucas Garcia extended the game with a grand slam in the bottom of the fourth to make it 13-7 in the bottom of the fourth.

It was 13-11 after five, but Hillsborough put it away with six runs in the final frame.
Northgate faces Newark at 2 p.m. today in the consolation bracket.

“They matched us hit for hit and run for run — they’re tough,” Northgate manager Larry Lucchetti said. “They’re a good hitting ball team that is very patient at the plate.”

Northgate was no slouch at the plate either, as Kyle Emerson went 3 for 3 with three RBIs and a double. Nick Lucchetti, Brandon Ridgewell and Garcia each finished 2 for 4, and Jake Pruitt contributed a solo home run.

Northgate took the momentum early, as starting pitcher Garcia, third baseman Chris Ah Yo and first baseman Ridgewell combined for a double play to end a first-inning threat. Northgate then jumped ahead 2-0 in the bottom half of the first, but Hillsborough plated four the following inning and never lost the lead since.

JUNIORS
Half Moon Bay 12, Weston Ranch 0
At Max Bear Park in Livermore, Tyler Scharnow produced Weston Ranch’s lone offensive highlight by simply reaching base on an error in the fourth inning.

That took away left-handed Brett Berghammer’s perfect game, but he still got his no-hitter.

“Our team was as flat as can be,” Weston Ranch manager Paul Ostertag said. “It’s unbelievable after all the hitting we did (in the District 67 Tournament). He wasn’t overpowering us or anything, we just couldn’t hit the ball very well.”

It’s now do or die for Weston Ranch, as it squares off with Union City at 2 p.m. today in the first elimination round.
— Jonamar Jacinto
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