The Palo Alto Babe Ruth 13- and 14-year-old all-star teams are alive for at least one more game in their respective NorCal State tournaments following victories on Wednesday.
The 13s will take on unbeaten Tri-Valley tonight in the championship game at 5 p.m. Should Palo Alto win, a second game will follow. The tourney champ will advance to regional play in Fowler (Calif.) beginning July 24.
Palo Alto scored a pair of runs in the sixth, breaking a 1-1 tie and giving the pitching win to reliever Andrew Bergeron.
Daniel Hemuili reached on error and stole second. Daniel Robello then walked before Bergeron drove Hemuili home for a 2-1 lead. Robello, who advanced to third on the hit, then scored on a single by Seattle Hmlar.
The Palo Alto 14s, meanwhile, will take on Woodland tonight in the consolation finals. Woodland fell to unbeaten Tri-Valley, 4-2, in Wednesday's other game. The winner will meet Tri-Valley in the championship game on Friday, needing two victories to advance to regional play beginning July 27 in Surprise, Ariz.
Palo Alto jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings and stretched that to 7-0 in the top of the sixth before Sonoma got on the board with single runs in the sixth and seventh. Sonoma had the bases loaded with two out in the final frame before Henry Darnell fouled out to left fielder Shane Wallace for the final out.
Wallace also produced at the plate for Palo Alto with three hits, including a double and sacrifice bunt plus two RBI. Sean Young drove in three runs while going 2-for-2. David Clarke had a pair of hits and drove in a run, John McGrory singled and scored twice and Dominic Cacchione doubled and scored a run.
Kyle Pruhsmeier pitched a seven-inning, complete-game five-hitter with four strikeouts.
The Palo Alto 15-year-old all-stars will open NorCal State Tournament play on Saturday at Belmont Sports Complex, taking on Tri-Valley at 10 a.m.
In action Tuesday:
Tri-Valley knocked the Palo Alto 13s into the consolation bracket with a 4-3 victory.
The game, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., didn't start until 9 p.m. because the earlier game saw Eureka out-slug Vallejo, 19-11.
Once Palo Alto took the field, Tri-Valley jumped out to a 4-0 lead and forced the home team to play from behind.
"Great game, just came up short," said Palo Alto manager Steve Sinchek. "They were up 4-0 on couple errors then we came back."
Palo Alto's efforts to overhaul Tri-Valley misfired twice, as Palo Alto loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth and seventh innings, but the Palo Alto batter each time struck out to end the inning.
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