PA National's 10-11 All-Stars had managed an 11-game winning streak in the post-season, including the first game of the Northern California Division II tournament, beating McKinleyville 7-4 on Thursday night. The team's second game in the tournament took place on Friday night in Albany, when PAN faced off against the Section I champion, Novato North, setting up a classic pitcher's duel.
The first inning resulted in no score, as PAN's pitcher Nick Wells generated two strike-outs and a ground-out. Novato's big southpaw, Stephen DeMartini, got a strikeout and induced a double play following Owen Lewis' single to right. In the top of the 2nd, Novato managed to load the based with one out, then two consecutive singles each scored a run. After Wells earned another strikeout, Novato was ahead 2-0.
DeMartini rang up three more strikeouts in the bottom of the second, then Wells struck out two Novato batters in the top of the third. The score stayed 2-0 until the bottom of the 5th when PA National brought 6 batters to the plate. Alec Wong singled down the third base line, followed by a walk to Matt Schwab. Kirby Gee doubled to right to score Wong, making the score 2-1.
Novato's pitcher answered in the top of the 6th, belting a fastball deep over the fence in left center. PA National was not able to generate another come-from-behind victory.
Wells pitched a complete game for Palo Alto, striking out 7 and giving up only 5 hits and 1 walk. Novato's DeMartini also pitched a complete game, striking out 9, also giving up 5 hits and 2 walks.
Palo Alto plays the Section 5 champion, Moreland, in an elimination game on Saturday at 11AM. Moreland lost 5-4 to Fresno's River Park, Palo Alto's main challenger the last two years in post-season play. Getting to the championship game means winning four in a row over the next four days.
The tournament bracket is available by clicking on the following link, which will open up a .PDF file: Web Link