The Palo Alto Little League baseball program is officially on vacation after Palo Alto National saw its season end in the District 52 Majors 11-12 All-Star Tournament on Sunday at Middlefield Ballpark.
Instead of playing in Monday night's championship game against San Carlos American at 7 p.m., Palo Alto National players will be watching Hillsborough in that role following a 4-2 loss to the defending champion on Sunday.
Hillsborough rode its familiar formula of dominant pitching and flawless defense to eliminate PA National.
The game opened with a first inning flurry of scoring and then became a pitchers' duel for the next five.
Blake Marcus of Hillsborough pitched a complete game for the winners, allowing just three hits and recording nine strikeouts. After a rough opening inning, Alec Olmstead of Palo Alto silenced the Hillsborough bats while scattering five hits over five innings and striking out 10. Justin Hull closed out the contest with a scoreless sixth.
In the top of the first, Hillsborough tallied three runs with a leadoff single by Michael Adams, a hit batter, a walk, and a Palo Alto error. In the second half of the inning, Palo Alto's Hull answered with a two-run homer over the center-field fence.
Robert Dicioccio added to the Hillsborough lead with a solo home run to lead off the second. That was the last time either team would score.
Hull followed up with another single and Griffy Byer notched a base hit in the fourth. On eight other occasions, Palo Alto hit the ball hard but was foiled by Hillsborough's error-free defense.
Marcus completed a spectacular tournament pitching performance, logging over 300 pitches in Hillsborough's four wins.
Palo Alto National capped a two-year all-star run with a 12-3 record, this season behind the guidance of manager Alex Byer and coaches Ted Tracy and John Cleasby.
Hillsborough needs to beat San Carlos American in Monday's game to force a challenge game on Wednesday, also at 7 p.m. at Middlefield Ballpark.