By Jen Cosgriff
Palo Alto Online Sports
Albert Han and Jai Correa each hit home runs to help Palo Alto National rally, twice, from deficits. But San Mateo National had the final say, hitting its own home run in the bottom of the sixth to eliminate Palo Alto, 8-7, from the District 52 11-12-year-old all-star tournament Thursday at Ortega School in Pacifica.
Han's three-run homer erased an early 2-0 deficit. He also pitched four strong innings before giving way to Owen Plambeck and Matt Lewis, who each threw an inning in the hard-fought, seesaw battle.
Facing a 6-3 deficit as they headed into the top of the sixth, the lads from Palo Alto refused to go down quietly.
Correa sparked a four-run rally, leading off the final frame with a solo home run. Sam Woodbury worked a bases-loaded walk to close the gap to 6-5, and Lewis followed with a two-run single to give Palo Alto the lead at 7-6.
However, San Mateo was able to mount its own comeback, winning the contest on a two-run, walk-off home run.
Despite the loss, PA National manager Ken Morgan was proud of the way his team played.
"They showed real character in the comeback," Morgan said. "We could have died in the top of the sixth, but we came back. It's just unfortunate that their guy connected for a home run."
Palo Alto played hard and took advantage of its offensive opportunities, scoring seven runs on seven hits.
"The improvement the team showed was indicative of how the team played all season," Morgan added. "It was a good season and they came a long way. They really improved defensively, and I'm very pleased with that part. We were hitting, we scored runs. We did better in every part of the game."