|Undefeated Tickets Express will meet once-beaten Bike Connection on Saturday for the championship of the Palo Alto Little League City Tournament at Middlefield Park. Game time is 2 p.m.
A victory by Tickets Express will clinch the tourney title, while a loss will force a challenge game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
This will be the fifth meeting of the season between the teams. Bike Connection (18-5 overall) won the first three games -- 8-0 in March, 10-0 in April and 3-2 in May. Tickets Express posted a 6-3 triumph in the second round of the tournament, handing Bike Connection its only loss.
Both teams won on Thursday to set up the rematch. Tickets Express won a wild 17-12 game over the Palo Alto Lions while Bike Connection got by PASCO, 7-4.
Bike Connection scored twice in the first and four more times in the second to eliminate PASCO.
In the first, Jimmy Smale led off with a line-drive single and Jack Witte followed with a home run to deep right-center. In the second, Alec Furrier led off with a walk, followed by a double by David Ball, a single by Jacob Hoffman, a double by Smale and a double by Witte.
PASCO fought back in the fourth when it got to Witte, who had allowed only one hit and struck out six through the first three innings. PASCO put together four consecutive hits.
Mathias Schmutz, who had PASCO's only previous hit with a double in the first, led off the inning with a sharp line drive to left for a single. That was followed by a single from Peter Verheecke, a double by Rowan Thompson and a single from Clark Schmutz to close the gap to 6-4.
Bike Connection answered in the bottom of the inning on doubles by Smale and Owen Lewis to make the score 7-4.
Kenny Jones came in to close out the game for Bike Connection. Smale led the way with three hits, including two doubles, in addition to scoring three runs. Witte contributed a homer, double and drove in three runs while David Ball added two hits.
In the big win by Tickets Express, Austin Kron slammed a home run while Nick Sincheck paced the Lions with three hits, including a pair of home runs. Sincheck came to the plate in the top of the sixth with the bases loaded and his team trailing by five runs, but Anthony Lim made his first pitching effort of the season a big one by retiring the Lions' big hitter.
Are you receiving Express, our free daily e-mail edition? See a sample and sign-up for Express.