Posted by Theresa, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2006 at 12:44 am
From our reporter on the scene, Richard Ersted:
Would the win streak continue?
Could the Palo Alto National 10-11 year old Little League All-Stars hammer out another victory like Monday's win in the championship round of the Section 3 playoffs? Or would they go down swinging?
On a cool, breezy Thursday night in Albany, Palo Alto faced off against the Section 2 champion, McKinleyville. Located just north of Eureka, the town last year sent a team to the Division 2 championship round.
For some, the answer lay in a single bat.
Using new aluminum, Kirby Gee -- the hitter of the winning shot up the middle in Monday's game in Fremont -- hit a two run blast in the bottom of the fifth to power Palo Alto to a 7-4 win over its opponent.
Not just any home run, the shot cleared the fence and kept going, eventually skimming over the outfield fence on an adjoining field.
McKinleyville fired early, scoring 2 in the top of the first. But, Palo Alto answered back in the third, tieing the game at 2-2.
Jimmy Smale went 3 for 3, hitting a double in the 3rd and two singles.
Peter Verheecke pitched the first three innings, giving up only 2 runs in the first and then settling down to fire three strikeouts over the next 6 batters. Nick Wells, Clay Carey, and Alec Wong took turns on the mound.
Manager Todd Lewis and Coach Tom Schmutz knew an unusual game lay ahead after the pre-game coin toss. McKinleyville won the toss and elected to bat first. "We like to score early and often," McKinleyville's coach apparently told the Palo Alto crew.
Throwing a strong curve, McKinleyville's pitcher took control early and stopped Palo Alto cold in the first two frames.
But Palo Alto's bats -- including the new purchase -- started firing back, and all questions were answered before the end of the game.
Palo Alto now faces the Section 1 champion on Friday, July 28 at 5:30PM in Albany in the winner's bracket quarterfinals.