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Calmes clubs clutch hits for Northgates 9-10 champions
BASE--LL-Northgate Minors pic 4
Willy Segura of Northgate A throws to first against Tracy American A in a 4-2 win Thursday for Northgate A in the championship game of the 9/10 District 67 All-Star Tournament on Gillen Field hosted by Northgate Little League. - photo by DAVE CAMPBELL/The Bulletin

Next stop: Valley Springs.

Northgate A defeated Tracy American A 4-2 to claim the championship of the District 67 9-10 All-Star Tournament at its own Gillen Field on Thursday. The win also moves the team on to the Section 6 All-Star Tournament on Saturday at Valley Springs.

But it was not easy.

Thanks to heads-up defense, both teams combined to send just one over the minimum to the plate going into the fourth inning when Northgate got a run in. Ryan Vanarsdell led off the frame with a single and came in on a double to the left-field corner by Nolan Calmes. Northgate managed to get Calmes to third and Willy Segura to second with one out after Segura reached on an error, but the threat ended on a flyout and a strikeout.

Calmes came through again in the fifth. Pinch hitters Avery Flores and Evan Jeffery reached on free passes when Flores walked and Jeffery was hit. A strikeout and flyout brought Calmes to the plate and he laced another double, scoring Flores and Jeffery. Starting pitcher Carlos Alvarez gave himself some insurance when he singled in Calmes for a 4-0 lead.

 “I knew they were strikes,” Calmes said. “And I felt good after I hit them.”

Alvarez pitched into the sixth inning before he reached his maximum pitch count. He struck out the side in the second and finished with seven strikeouts, two hits and two walks.

“I only threw a two-hitter,” Alvarez said. “And our defense was great.”

Tracy American got its two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Alvarez left the game with runners on second and third leading 4-0, but both came in before Willie Segura shut things down, inducing a groundout before getting the final out of the game on a strikeout.

“The boys played hard the whole tournament,” Northgate coach Mike Calmes said. “Our pitching and hitting was good and they worked hard at practice and they deserved to be here.

“I think they proved they were the better team.”

Northgate opens the Section 6 Tournament at 9 a.m. Saturday in Valley Springs on Duke Powers Field.