TURLOCK – The ball finally started to bounce Northgate’s way in the sixth inning Tuesday, but it was too little too late as Tracy American held off a late Northgate rally and won 8-6 in championship-round action of the Little League 9-10 Section 6 All-Star Tournament, setting up a winner-take-all contest tonight at Turlock American Little League.
After seeing three errors help Turlock total six runs in the second and third innings, Diego Gonzales and Zach Grabowski led off the top of the sixth for Northgate reaching on errors. Gonzales took second on a wild pitch and went to third off the bat of Grabowski. Gonzales came home when Grabowski stole second to come within 8-5.
Grabowski scored on Ashton Heath’s single, and after Heath (2 for 3, RBI) was forced out on Anthony Sy’s fielder’s choice and Fernando Alaniz singled, Brandon Pine came to the plate representing the go-ahead run.
Pine hit a powerful line drive to right field, but as with most of Northgatge’s hard hits, Turlock American made a stellar defensive play in the form of a tremendous catch by Nick Beaken to end the game.
Alaniz had the productive bat, going 4 for 4 with a two-run home run in the first inning to spot Northgate to a 2-0 lead. Carson Sanders singled in Noah Calmes in the fourth for Northgate and Calmes knocked in Alaniz in the fifth.