By James Huber
Palo Alto Online Sports
Palo Alto American took advantage of a barrage of wild pitches, passed balls, walks and errors to defeat Redwood City American, 9-4, on Wednesday night at Middlefield Ballpark in the consolation bracket of the District 52 Little League Majors 11-12 year-old all-star tournament.
PA American's starting pitcher Amit Rao came around to score in the first inning with the help of two passed balls and a wild pitch after hitting a leadoff single to start the game.
In the next inning, PA American tacked on two more runs with a little more help from Redwood City American's sloppy play. Xavi Loinaz walked and Matt Knowles was hit by a pitch to start off the inning. Loinaz scored on a wild pitch and Knowles was driven in by an RBI single from Rao.
"We're generally pretty aggressive on the base paths," said Palo Alto American manager Joe Adams, whose team had three stolen bases. "I wish our hitting had come around, but we took advantage of the opportunities in front of us."
Palo Alto was able to score four runs in the fifth with a two-out rally. Rao and Jake Rittman both reached base on errors by Redwood City's infielders and were brought home by shortstop Jason Huang's RBI single.
PA American added on two more runs the next inning despite not recording a hit. P.J. Wisowaty and Steven Marinkovich scored on the same play when the ball got by the catcher and the throw home was mishandled by Redwood City's pitcher.
Palo Alto American also got strong pitching efforts from Rao (the winner), Sam Feldman and Rittman. PA American pitchers each struck out four hitters, with all of Rittman's outs coming on strikeouts, and only allowed two earned runs on the night.
"This was Amit's first game pitching in the tournament," said Adams. "He did everything the coaches asked for tonight. Amit threw strikes and located the fastball on the outside corner."
In the fourth inning, Rao also made a nice play in right field to end a Redwood City rally. Redwood City appeared to score its second run of the inning when Roberto Alarcon singled, which would have scored Adrian Lopez from second base, but Rao gunned down Alarcon at first base with a strong throw from right field.
Palo Alto also rebounded nicely after allowing a deep solo home run to Adrian Villa in the first inning, fanning him three times afterward.
"We just went right after him with fastballs after the home run," Adams said.
Palo Alto American next plays the loser of the game between San Carlos American and Belmont/Redwood Shores at Middlefield on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
In Wednesday's other game, San Mateo American eliminated Highlanders (Redwood City), 14-1.
2011 DISTRICT 52 MAJORS 11-12 LITTLE LEAGUE ALL-STAR TOURNAMENT
At Middlefield Ballpark, June 24-July 13
(Updated at 9:58 a.m. on 6-30)
FRIDAY, June 24
Game 1 -- Palo Alto American 14, Ravenswood 1
Game 2 -- Half Moon Bay 7, Menlo-Atherton 3
SATURDAY, June 25
Game 3 -- Alpine-West Menlo 13, San Mateo National 8
Game 4 -- San Carlos American 7, San Mateo American 2
Game 5 -- Belmont-Redwood Shores 11, Highlanders 8
SUNDAY, June 26
Game 6 -- San Carlos National 15, Redwood City American 2
Game 7 -- Hillsborough 3, Foster City 1
Game 8 -- Redwood City National 6, Pacifica American 5
Game 9 -- Palo Alto National 7, Palo Alto American 1
MONDAY, June 27
Game 10 -- San Mateo National 17, Ravenswood 0 (Ravenswood eliminated)
TUESDAY, June 28
All games rained out
WEDNESDAY, June 29
Game 11 -- San Mateo American 14, Highlanders 1
Game 12 -- Palo Alto American 9, Redwood City American 4
THURSDAY, June 30
Game 13 -- Foster City vs. Pacifica American, 5 p.m.
Game 14 -- Menlo-Atherton vs. San Mateo National, 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, July 1
Game 15 -- Half Moon Bay vs. Alpine-West Menlo, 5 p.m.
Game 16 -- San Carlos American vs. Belmont-Redwood Shores, 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, July 2
Game 17 -- San Carlos National vs. Palo Alto National, 10 a.m.
Game 18 -- Hillsborough vs. Redwood City National, 12:30 p.m.
Game 19 -- Game 15 loser vs. Game 13 winner, 3 p.m.
Game 20 -- Game 16 loser vs. Palo Alto American, 5:30 p.m.
SUNDAY, July 3
Game 21 -- Game 17 loser vs. San Mateo American, 10 a.m.
Game 22 -- Game 18 loser vs. Game 14 winner, 12:30 p.m.
TUESDAY, July 5
Game 23 -- Game 15 winner vs. Game 16 winner, 5 p.m.
Game 24 -- Game 17 winner vs. Game 18 winner, 7:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, July 6
Game 25 -- Game 21 winner vs. Game 22 winner, 5 p.m.
Game 26 -- Game 19 winner vs. Game 20 winner, 7:30 p.m.
THURSDAY, July 7
Game 27 -- Game 24 winner vs. Game 23 winner, 5:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, July 8
Game 28 -- Game 25 winner vs. Game 23 loser, 5 p.m.
Game 29 -- Game 26 winner vs. Game 24 loser, 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, July 9
Game 30 -- Game 28 winner vs. Game 29 winner, 5:30 p.m.
SUNDAY, July 10
Game 31 -- Game 30 winner vs. Game 27 loser, 5:30 p.m.
MONDAY, July 11
Game 32 -- Game 27 winner vs. Game 31 winner, 7 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, July 13
Game 33 -- Challenge game, if necessary, 7 p.m.