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A’s force ‘if’ game for NGLL championship
Northgate Little League
Josh Ojeda of the A's scores past the Tigers' Eugene Barton. - photo by Dave Campbell

Win or stay home.

The A’s downed the Tigers 10-6 Sunday in the championship round of the Northgate Little League juniors tournament, forcing a winner-take-all tilt tonight at 5:30 at Morenzone Field.

Trailing 4-1 going into the fourth inning, the A’s put up nine runs over the next three innings to pull away. Brayden Knott got the A’s machine going when he came off the bench and belted a hard single to center, scoring Matt Escarcega for the first run of a four-run fourth. Running for Knott, Shane Saenz scored on an Andrew Salmeron single. Josh Ojeda (two runs) stole home and Salmeron came home on a passed ball.

In the fifth inning, Anthony Oteri (RBI), R.J. Utley and Josh Ojeda all walked for the A’s and all came home on passed balls. In the sixth, Shane Lewis Jr. belted a two-RBI single, scoring Randy Lee (two runs) and Julian Ledesma (double) to make the score 10-5.

Escarcega took the mound for the A’s in the third inning, retiring three in a row and eight of the next 10 batters. Escarcega struck out six in five innings of work, giving up three hits with two runs, one earned.

The Tigers had a big first inning with four runs. Israel Leon (3 for 4, two RBI, two doubles, two runs) blasted a two-RBI double, plating Andrew Sandoval and Nene Lynch to get the Tigers on the board. Leon scored on an Ilisah Leon single and Nick Johnson plated Ilasah Leon with a single.

Dominick Summerville reached and scored on errors in the fifth to bring the Tigers within 8-5 Israel Leon scored the game’s final run in the bottom of the seventh on Leon’s sacrifice bunt.