By Keith Peters
Palo Alto Online Sports
The first homer pretty much wrapped things up early. The second homer was just insurance. The third homer made it downright crazy.
All told, three homers that accounted for nine runs was more than enough as Palo Alto National advanced in the District 52 Majors 11-12 Little League All-Star Tournament with a 19-1 blasting of San Carlos National in a winners'-bracket game Saturday at Palo Alto's Middlefield Ballpark.
Palo Alto took a 10-0 lead into the third inning and pretty much had a 10-run mercy-rule finish locked up. What came next was just icing on the victory cake as the local team sent 12 batters to the plate, scored nine runs on six hits and two errors in a one-inning performance that will be hard to top in third or any year.
It started off simply enough when Justin Hull led off with a single. After San Carlos changed pitchers, Alec Olmstead welcomed him with a two-run homer over the fence in center field. Suddenly it was 12-0.
Brian Tracy was then safe on an error and Griffy Byer followed with a single. Winning pitcher Riley Schoeben stepped up and ripped a three-run homer over the fence in left field for a 15-0 lead.
After a groundout, Dillon Scheel walked. Ethan Stern grounded to second but the throw to get Scheel was dropped by the San Carlos shortstop at second. Ben Cleasby then ripped a single past the first baseman and the bags for full. Hull came to the plate for the second time in the inning, saw a pitch he like and pounded a no-doubter over the centerfield fence for a grand slam.
Palo Alto National also sent 12 players to the plate in the second inning, during which the all-stars scored six times on five hits -- the big one a two-run double by Pete Snodgrass.
In the first inning and with the bases loaded, Schoeben lofted a high fly ball that dropped behind the center fielder -- just short of a home run. Three runs scored. Schoeben finished with six RBI with Hull producing three hits and four RBI while Olmstead had two hits and three RBI against the three-time champs (1997, 2002 and 2003).
Schoeben pitched the first two innings, using 40 pitches. Schoeben, Olmstead and Byer combined to limit San Carlos to just three hits. All three will be available on Tuesday when Palo Alto National takes on defending champion Hillsborough at 7:30 p.m.
Hillsborough likely will start ace Blake Marcus, who started on Saturday and threw 49 pitches through five scoreless innings. He got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the to of the fifth. Had Marcus thrown one more pitch, he would have needed more than two days rest before his next pitching assignment.
Hillsborough scored the winning run in the bottom of the fifth on a passed ball.
In Saturday's consolation-bracket games, Palo Alto American remained alive with an 11-7 victory over Belmont/Redwood Shores and Foster City advanced with a 12-2 triumph over Half Moon Bay.
Palo Alto American was led by Jason Huang, who threw 65 pitches and went 4-for-4 at the plate with a single, two doubles and a home run. Palo Alto jumped out to a 4-1 lead, but Belmont tied the game with three in the third.
Palo Alto seemed to have things in hand with two more runs in the fourth and five in the fifth, but Belmont made it interesting in the sixth with a three-run homer. Palo Alto, however, was able to end the rally and secure the victory, advancing to face Foster City on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
2011 DISTRICT 52 MAJORS 11-12 LITTLE LEAGUE ALL-STAR TOURNAMENT
At Middlefield Ballpark, June 24-July 13
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 12, Pacifica American 2
Game 14 -- Menlo-Atherton 5, San Mateo National 2
FRIDAY, July 1
Game 15 -- Alpine-West Menlo 7, Half Moon Bay 3
Game 16 -- San Carlos American 5, Belmont-Redwood Shores 4
SATURDAY, July 2
Game 17 -- Palo Alto National 19, San Carlos National 1
Game 18 -- Hillsborough 1, Redwood City National 0
Game 19 -- Foster City 12, Half Moon Bay 2
Game 20 -- Palo Alto American 11, Belmont/Redwood Shores 7
SUNDAY, July 3
Game 21 -- San Mateo American 8, San Carlos National 1
Game 22 -- Menlo-Atherton 6, Redwood City National 3
TUESDAY, July 5
Game 23 -- Alpine-West Menlo vs. San Carlos American, 5 p.m.
Game 24 -- Palo Alto National vs. Hillsborough, 7:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, July 6
Game 25 -- San Mateo American vs. Menlo-Atherton, 5 p.m.
Game 26 -- Foster City vs. Palo Alto American, 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.