Sports

PA National, Alpine suffer first defeats in 11-12 all-stars

 

By James Huber

Palo Alto Online Sports

According to a baseball adage, good pitching always beats good hitting. Hillsborough sure proved that bit of wisdom true on Tuesday night as it rode pitcher Blake Marcus to a convincing 5-1 victory over Palo Alto National in the District 52 Majors 11-12 Little League All-Star Tournament at Middlefield Ballpark.

After outscoring its opponents by a combined score of 26-2 in the first two games of the tournament, Palo Alto National was handcuffed by the hard-throwing Marcus and scored its only run on a sacrifice fly.

"My control was better than usual. I'm usually pretty wild," said Marcus, who didn't have any walks on the night. "I just went out there and did everything normally."

If "normal" means striking out 10 batters and only allowing three hits, then the rest of the District 52 all-star teams are in trouble as Hillsborough looks in prime position to defend its title.

"Sometimes you've just got to tip your hat because that guy is tough," said Palo Alto National manager Alex Byer. "That's one of the better pitchers you'll ever see in Little League."

Hillsborough set the tone early and was never really threatened the rest of the way. Michael Adams homered to start the game and left fielder Peter Love pushed the lead to 4-0 with a three-run home run later in the first inning.

"What was great about today's game was that we came out firing on all cylinders," said Hillsborough assistant coach Brian Farr. "We hadn't been hitting very well as a team lately and our bats really came alive tonight."

The four-run lead proved to be more than enough support for Marcus, who only gave up one unearned run.

The inning when Palo Alto scored its only run started off with Alec Olmstead reaching on an error to lead off the fourth inning. He later moved to third on Riley Schoeben's double and was driven in by Eric Maser's sacrifice fly to left field.

Marcus snuffed out the rally, though, with a heads-up defensive play on Maser's fly ball, cutting off the throw home and catching Schoeben trying to advance to third on the throw.

Despite an undefeated 3-0 record in this double-elimination tournament, Hillsborough's wins haven't come easily.

"It feels like we're playing in a championship game every night with Foster City, Redwood City National, Palo Alto and us all in the same part of the bracket," Farr said.

Hillsborough beat Foster City, 3-1, in its first game and defeated Redwood City National, 1-0, on Saturday before taking down Palo Alto National.

"It was surprising to both Brian and myself that we hadn't been hitting because we have a good hitting team," Hillsborough manager Gary Goodman said. "I think the main reason is that we've faced very good pitchers in all of our games so far."

Goodman attributed his team's close games so far this tournament to the quality of play in the area. "District 52 is a superior district. We all have fun, but we all excel," said Goodman of the local all-star teams. "I think (District 52) is one of the best Little League districts in the nation."

Hillsborough next will play San Carlos American in a battle between the two undefeated teams on Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m.

Palo Alto National plays the winner of the Palo Alto American-Foster City game on Friday in an elimination game at 7:30 p.m.

In the other winners'-bracket game on Tuesday night, San Carlos American beat Alpine/West Menlo, 6-4. San Carlos American scored three times in the third inning to take the lead and then escaped from jams in the last three innings without giving up any runs.

In the top of the fourth, Alpine seemed to be on the verge of breaking the game open with the bases loaded with just one out. Two outs later, the score remained 5-4 as San Carlos escaped. In the top of the fifth, Alpine, once again left the bases loaded while failing to score.

Alpine had 10 hits and led by 4-2 after two innings. Daniel Austin came on in relief for San Carlos and struck out the side in the third. Austin fanned seven in 2 2/3 innings and Alpine didn't score again. Ryan Klapper led Alpine with three hits while Harrison Armsby added two.

In the District 52 Majors 9-10 all-star tourney at Lakeshore Park in San Mateo, Alpine-West Menlo was knocked out of the winners' bracket following a 3-1 loss to San Mateo National on Tuesday. Alpine next will play Sunday at noon in the consolation bracket.

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 -- San Carlos American 2, Alpine-West Menlo 1

Game 24 -- Hillsborough 5, Palo Alto National 1

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 -- Hillsborough vs. San Carlos American, 5:30 p.m.

FRIDAY, July 8

Game 28 -- Game 25 winner vs. Alpine-West Menlo, 5 p.m.

Game 29 -- Game 26 winner vs. Palo Alto National, 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.

2011 DISTRICT 52 MAJORS 9-10 ALL-STAR TOURNAMENT

At Lakeshore Park, San Mateo, June 24-July 13

FRIDAY, June 24

Game 1 -- Redwood City National 12, Ravenswood 2

Game 2 -- San Carlos American 7, Hillsborough 5

SATURDAY, June 25

Game 3 -- Alpine-West Menlo 13, Palo Alto National 10

Game 4 -- Palo Alto American 4, Pacifica National 2

Game 5 -- Foster City 14, Pacifica American 5

Game 6 -- San Carlos National 17, Menlo-Atherton 11

SUNDAY, June 26

Game 7 -- Belmont-Redwood Shores 10, Redwood City National 0

Game 8 -- San Mateo American 12, Highlanders 2

Game 9 -- San Mateo National 10, Redwood City American 0

Game 10 -- Half Moon Bay 9, San Carlos American 2

MONDAY, June 27

Game 11 -- Hillsborough 16, Pacifica National 1

Game 12 -- Redwood City National 12, Ravenswood 5

TUESDAY, June 28

All games rained out

WEDNESDAY, June 29

Game 13 -- Pacifica American d. Redwood City American

Game 14 -- San Carlos American 8, Menlo-Atherton 1

THURSDAY, June 30

Game 15 -- Hillsborough d. Palo Alto National

Game 16 -- Redwood City National d. Highlanders

FRIDAY, July 1

Game 17 -- Alpine-West Menlo 8, Palo Alto American 3.

Game 18 -- San Mateo National 14, Foster City 3

SATURDAY, July 2

Game 19 -- San Carlos National 19, Half Moon Bay 7

Game 20 -- Belmont-Redwood Shores 10, San Mateo American 0

Game 21 -- Palo Alto American 11, Redwood City National 4

Game 22 -- Foster City d. San Carlos American

SUNDAY, July 3

Game 23 -- Pacifica American d. Half Moon Bay

Game 24 -- Hillsborough d. San Mateo American

TUESDAY, July 5

Game 25 -- San Mateo National 3, Alpine-West Menlo 1

Game 26 -- Belmont-Redwood Shores 12, San Carlos National 0

WEDNESDAY, July 6

Game 27 -- Pacifica American vs. Hillsborough, (South Field), 5:30 p.m.

Game 28 -- Palo Alto American vs. Foster City (North Field), 5:30 p.m.

THURSDAY, July 7

Game 29 -- San Mateo National vs. Belmont-Redwood Shores, (North Field), 5:30 p.m.

FRIDAY, July 8

Game 30 -- Game 27 winner vs. Alpine-West Menlo (North Field), 5:30 p.m.

Game 31 -- Game 28 winner vs. Game 26 loser (South Field), 5:30 p.m.

SATURDAY, July 9

Game 32 -- Game 30 winner vs. Game 31 winner (North Field), 10 a.m.

SUNDAY, July 10

Game 33 -- Game 29 loser vs. Game 32 winner (North Field), noon

MONDAY, July 11

Game 34 -- Game 29 winner vs. Game 33 winner (North Field), 5:30 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, July 13

Game 35 -- Challenge game, if necessary (North Field), 5:30 p.m.

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