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A’s capitalize on 2nd chance to win Northgate junior title
Northgate Little League
The Tigers' Ayden Sandoval is out at home by Anthony Oteri of the A's. - photo by Dave Campbell

The A’s and the Tigers took to the field Tuesday night for the Northgate Little League juniors championship, and when the game ended at Morenzone Field the Tigers appeared to have a 6-5 victory.

But appearances can be deceiving.

The A’s disagreed with a rule interpretation in the fifth inning, so they played the rest of the game under protest. Upon review, the protest was upheld and by rule the balance of the game that occurred after the protest was wiped off the books with the game reverting to the protest point. On Friday, the outcome was different, with the A’s winning 7-5 at Mossdale Park in Lathrop and they move on to the District 67 Juniors Tournament of Champions this afternoon at 4 against Salida at Paul Weston Park in Stockton.

The game resumed Friday in the top of the fifth with two out for the Tigers, runners at the corners and the A’s leading 4-3. A groundout ended that frame.

The A’s added two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth. In the fifth, Randy Lee drew a bases-loaded walk to plate Matt Escarcega and Liam Ellis came in on a wild pitch. In the sixth, Anthony Oteri (2 for 4, double, two runs) bunted his way on and came in on a passed ball to make the score 7-4. Julian Ledesma (2 for 4, double, run) led off the A’s sixth with a double but was caught in a rundown between third and home by the Tigers’ Israel Leon.  

The Tigers scored one in the sixth and one in the seventh. In the sixth Ilisah Leon reached on an error and scored on a single by Ayden Sandoval to come within 6-4. In the seventh, Nini Lynch (2 for 4, run) reached on a single and scored all the way from second on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Daxton Goetz (2 for 4, two RBI, run), deftly sliding around the tag by A’s catcher Oteri for the final score of 7-5.

In the part of the game played Wednesday, the A’s scored three runs in the fourth inning behind singles by Lee and Ledesma, an Oteri double and five walks for a 3-0 lead. The added one more in the second when Lee scored after four consecutive walks for a 4-2 lead.

After Goetz and Eugene Barton singled in the second inning they scored for the Tigers on a single by Angel Ruiz to come within 4-2. In the third, Israel Leon (2 for 4, run) doubled and scored to draw the Tigers within 4-3.