TURLOCK — Pitching is key in the Little League postseason, especially in an elimination game, and on Sunday it was Chowchilla that had just enough pitching.
Chowchilla knocked out Northgate 10-8 in consolation action of the 10-and-under NorCal State playoffs at Julian Elementary School.
Going into the sixth inning, Chowchilla led 8-6 and thanks to three walks and a single Chowchilla bumped that lead to 10-6, and they would need all the runs they could get.
Eli Jiminez led off the bottom of the sixth for Northgate and was replaced in the base paths by Rylan Luna. Ealin Showers reached on a single, and after multiple errors on the play Luna came around to score to narrow the Chowchilla lead to 10-7. Jack Benedetti reached on a fielder’s choice, took second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Manoa Ellis to come within 10-8.
A single by Graham Allen (3 for 4, run) and an infield error off the bat of Jackson Frisk loaded the bases with two out necessitating a pitching change for Chowchilla. Brayden Von Allman toed the rubber for Chowchilla and he did what he came in for, inducing a strikeout that left the walk-off run on first base.
Northgate tallied three runs in the fifth. Jimenez (2 for 4, two runs) singled and scored on a single by Showers (2 for 4, two RBI, run). Showers scored on a fielder’s choice by Jameson Hicks and after a single, Ilias Leon scored on a John Ellis single to come within 8-6.
Los Altos 3, Northgate 1
Jimenez singled to start the fourth inning and scored on Benedetti’s single to give Northgate a 1-0 lead in the tournament opener on Saturday night. Los Altos battled back to score three runs and keep Northgate off the board.
Hits were tough to come by for Northgate. Nolan Mendes went 2 for 3 with a double and Carson Beck had the only other Northgate hit with a single.