The Palo Alto American Little League 12-year-old all-star team remained alive for at least one more day as it produced 21 hits, including four home runs, in a 24-0 trampling of Palo Alto National in District 52 consolation action at Red Morton Park in Redwood City on Saturday afternoon.
"We knew we had a strong team when we scrimmaged them earlier in the year so we knew what to expect," said Palo Alto American head coach Rian Valenti. "Our game plan was pretty set so we came out confident today."
American second basemen Clark Mellen put the game out of reach in the second inning when he hit a line drive two-run homer to right field, putting his team up 6-0.
"He knows a line drive for him can go 250 feet," said Valenti." So as soon as he got a hold of a couple he had some confidence."
Shortstop Aiden Berger made it a 5-0 game in the first inning when he lined a single to left center field, scoring Kyle Mostofizadeh and Mike Oh. National's pitcher Colin Giffin threw 41 pitches and surrendered five runs in the inning.
PA American kept rolling in the second inning as it scored nine runs and eight hits. Oh belted a double to right-centerfield scoring Sam Sloan and Mostofizadeh, making it a 10-0 game.
"Our bats were waiting to explode," said Valenti. "We got the 10-run rule in our last game (a 15-3 loss to Belmont/Redwood Shores) so this was the day that everyone was confident. We knew the pitchers we were facing so as soon as we got the fastball we were looking for, we hit it hard."
The PA American pitching was also stellar as Sloan and Berger combined for no runs and only three base hits.
"Well, our defense was good," said Berger, who threw 3 1/3 shutout innings. "Everyone kept the ball in front of themselves and no over-throws."
In the fourth inning, PA American's Paul Thie, Drew Stanley and Mellen each hit a home run, increasing the lead to 24-0, most likely the worst postseason loss ever absorbed by Palo Alto National at this level of all-star play.
"Everyone was just hitting with very solid contact today," said Mellen, who went 3 for 4 with four RBI. "We found the holes for singles and extra base hits."
Palo Alto American will take on San Mateo American, a 14-4 winner over Foster City, on Sunday at Kiwanis Field at noon. The winner will play Belmont/Redwood Shores, an 8-5 loser to undefeated Pacifica American, in the consolation finals on Monday at Kiwanis Field at 5:30 p.m. Sunday's loser, meanwhile, will be eliminated.
"Either way it's going to be a really good team," said Valenti, before discovering his opponent. "We beat Foster City earlier in the tournament so we'd prefer to play them. Either way, we're going to be ready to go."