Somebody had to win.
In opening-round action of the District 67 Little League Minor Tournament of Champions between the Northgate Nationals and Lathrop A’s, the teams were tied at the end of the regulation six innings.
Both teams scored three in the eighth. Both teams scored one in the ninth. Only one scored in the 10th.
With John Perrazzo on second in the bottom of the 10th for the Nationals, Luke Weaver powered a ground ball between shortstop and second to plate Perrazzo for the walk-off 13-12 win Saturday.
The two teams went through 12 pitchers with Mitch Lill taking over in the eighth inning for Northgate with two across and two on for Lathrop. Lill walked the first batter he faced, and struck out the next two to shut down the A’s threat. He struck out two and gave up a run in the ninth and in the 10th he loaded the bases with no outs. Lill reached down for something extra to strike out the next three batters, setting the stage for Weaver’s heroics.
Lathrop racked up 15 of the 27 hits in the game. Kyle Haynes had the big bat for the A’s, going 3 for 3 with two doubles, a pair of RBI and two runs. Providing offensive support for Lathrop were A. J. Duenez (3 for 4, double), Marcus Brennan (2 for 3, RBI, four runs), Cienna Duenez (2 for 3, 3 runs), Isaac Pereda (2 for 4, RBI) and Iszaek Gheith (double, two RBI).
Weaver (two RBI, three runs) and teammate Nolan Mix (two RBI) were each 3 for 4. Fernando Alaniz was 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI and Benny Slaughter doubled and had a pair of RBI to round out the Nationals attack.
The win advanced Northgate to the main bracket of tournament where the Nationals faced Manteca on Sunday. Results were not available at press time.