The Palo Alto Babe Ruth 15-year-old all-stars saw missed opportunities, errors and questionable umpiring calls all added up to a 5-4 extra-inning loss to Sonoma and elimination from the NorCal State Tournament on Tuesday in Elk Grove.
The game got off to a good start for Palo Alto as Alec Furrier singled in Michael Strong and James Foug and later scored on a bases-loaded walk to give Palo Alto a 3-0 lead in the first. Furrier also singled in Foug in the second inning to give starting pitcher Erik Amundson a 4-0 lead, but Palo Alto could not find a way to score after that.
Sonoma broke through with an unearned run in the fourth inning and later scored three runs in the top of the sixth with a help of a three-base error, which allowed two runs to score and set up a squeeze to score the tying run. Sonoma scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eight aided by two Palo Alto errors.
It looked like Strong, who had come on in relief, would get out of a bases-loaded, no outs jam in the eighth. However, yet another walk gave Sonoma its fifth run. In the bottom of the eight, Palo Alto's Jacob Hoffman walked and reached second on a balk with one out. Hoffman tried to advance to third on a pitched ball in the dirt, but a controversial call ruled him out at third on the catcher's throw and ended Palo Alto's last chance to keep the game going.
Amundson pitched seven innings and gave up only three hits, but was not able to get the win as Palo Alto's season-ending loss resulted in a fourth-place finish in the eight-team tournament.
In semipro action:
Sacred Heart Prep grad Michael Olmstead allowed one run through five innings and struck out six while Grant Nelson slammed a two-run homer to spark the Menlo Park Legends to a 10-2 semipro baseball victory over the Nevada Bighorns on Tuesday at Menlo College. Nelson finished with three RBI while teammate Brian Haggett had three hits for the Legends (23-14) while team manager David Klein added a double and a single. Menlo Park will host the Bighorns again on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., at Menlo College.
Xin Fang of Menlo Park won the girls' division of the Ernie Barbour Memorial junior tournament on Tuesday after shooting a 5-over 78 at the San Ramon Golf Course.
On Monday, the Menlo-Atherton High junior Fang captured the girls' division of the Robert O'Brien Memorial tourney with a 2-over 73 at Poplar Creek in San Mateo.
In other golf news:
Castilleja grad Brenna Nelsen has some catchup work to do during the final two days of the Trader Joe's Junior Championship (hosted by Pat Hurst) following an opening-round 3-over 73 left her tied for fourth place in the girls' division on the tough Hill Course at Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton on Tuesday.
Nelsen, who will continue her career at Harvard in the fall, shot 38-36-73 to trail first-round leader Hannah Suh of San Jose, who shot a 2-under 68. Palo Alto's Michelle Xie shot a 6-over 76 and finds herself in the middle of the field heading into the final 36 holes.
In the boys' division, Menlo School junior Andrew Buchanan of Los Altos Hills shot a 6-over 76 and finds himself 10 shots off the lead after Peter Thorseth of Richmond, Texas, shot an opening 4-under 66 on Tuesday in the American Junior Golf Association event that features 72 boys and 24 girls from 10 states and four countries.
At the NCGA Junior Tour-Summer Series III at the Metropolitan Golf Links Club in Oakland, Bradley Keller of Menlo Park won the Boys' First Flight with a 76-76-152 total and a two-shot win.
In the Boys' Championship Flight, Menlo-Atherton's Travis Anderson tied for third with a 77-73-150 total, six over par, while Alex Hwang of Palo Alto tied for 13th with a two-day total of 78-78-156.
In the Girls' Championship Flight, Chloe Sales of Palo Alto shot 85-92-177 and finished 11th.