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Grabowski, NGLL slug to majors title round
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STOCKTON — Northgate will advance to the championship game of the District 67 10-12 year old All-Stars Tournament at Paul Weston Park on Monday.
The local Little League squad defeated Spreckels Park in a four-inning affair in Friday's semifinal game at Paul E. Weston Park, 14-4.
Zach Grabowski led Northgate by blasting a pair of home runs. He led off the game with a solo blast and did likewise in the second inning.
"Zach set the tone for the game," said Northgate coach Mike Calmes.
Grabowski also tossed three scoreless innings of relief, striking out five while scattering three hits.
Northgate (3-0) tacked on five runs at the top of the first. Along with Grabowski's big fly, Ivan Alvarez delivered a two-run double.
Spreckels Park (2-1) countered with a four-run frame in the home half of the first. Troy Morrow had a lead-off triple, scoring a wild pitch. PJ Pimentel, Gino Flores and Scott Hamilton followed suit with RBI singles.
"We did a good job battling back against a very good team," said Spreckels Park coach Jeff Morrow.
Ahead by a run, Northgate made it 6-4 on Grabowski's second homer to lead off the second.
Alvarez led off the third with a triple. He scored on Andrew Viri's RBI hit to center.
Grabowski, Noah Calmes, Nolan Mix, Carson Sanders, Matthew Miske and Greg Adams all had hits during Northgate's five-run frame.
Miske had an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the third. Spreckels Park had mounted a slight threat with runners in scoring position — Israel San Nicholas battled at the plate with a nine-pitch at-bat.
Northgate provided the 10-run cushion in the fourth with Sanders coming up with an RBI single coupled with two more runs coming on an error.
Next up for Northgate is the winner from the loser's bracket at 6 p.m. Monday as a possible closeout game.
Spreckels Park will take on the winner of Patterson-Mountain House game on Sunday. The top team to emerge here will advance to the title game.
Coach Morrow is hoping for a rematch. "Our attitude is right — we have to come back and get ready to battle it out," he said.