LIVERMORE —Union City was figured to be the team to beat in the California Little League Section 3 Junior Division Tournament.
Union City’s skipper let Weston Ranch know that before their consolation-bracket meeting Sunday at Max Baer Park.
“Before the game he came up to me and (assistant coach) Will Scharnow and said his team played a real bad game in the first round (Saturday) but is going to play for the championship anyway,” Ostertag said. “So I used that to motivate the kids.”
After an uninspiring effort during Saturday’s opening round, when Weston Ranch was no-hit in a 12-0 loss to Half Moon Bay, the local all-stars pulled off the tournament’s biggest stunner by a 7-3 margin.
The difference was Weston Ranch’s four-run sixth inning, but it proved not to be intimidated since the first pitch was thrown.
“We came alive in the first inning and put a little scare into them,” Ostertag said.
Weston Ranch got its point across at the start, banging out four hits for a run in the first while stretching the early lead to 3-0 after two. After Union City tied it up in the third, it was a pitcher’s duel between relievers.
Union City’s Danny Cardenas struck out eight batters in innings 3-5.
Weston Ranch’s Nick Garcia threw the final 4 1/3 and fanned seven. Garcia, using a slow hook to keep batters off balanced, scattered just three hits and two walks.
“Nick Garcia did a great job,” Ostertag said. “He usually throws a really hard curve, but today he had the good sense to take something off it.”
Kyle Ostertag ignited Weston Ranch’s sixth-inning rally with a leadoff double to the fence. Alex Azevedo followed with a single, and Elijah Brass walked to load the bases.
Kenny Williams broke the 3-3 tie with a two-run single. Tyler Scharnow and James Simerley capped the flurry with RBI singles.
Scharnow finished 4 for 4 with two runs and two others driven in. Simerley was 3 for 4.
Weston Ranch has to get past tournament host Granada today at 3:30 p.m. to face either Half Moon Bay or Mission San Jose of Fremont in the consolation semifinal.