At long last, the four seeds for the Palo Alto Babe Ruth League City Championship have been decided. Ada's Cafe needed an extra game, beating Goetz Bros., 9-3, at the Baylands Athletic Center on Wednesday evening to grab the final berth.
The showdown game was made necessary when the two teams played to a 2-2 tie in 10 innings on Monday night.
Friday's first round of the playoffs at Baylands has No. 1 Palo Alto Oaks (9-5) vs No. 4 Menlo Chevron (8-6) vying at 5 p.m. Menlo Chevron is the defending champion.
At 8 p.m., No. 2 Alhouse Realty (8-6) battles No. 3 Ada's Cafe (8-6). Goetz Bros, also 8-6, lost out via a tiebreaker system.
"I don't know what to expect," Oaks manager Rick Farr said. "I don't think there has been this much parity before. Teams were really bunched up. We were 2-0 against Ada's, but 1-1 against the other two teams."
Menlo Chevron is expected to throw ace Spencer Rojahn against the Oaks. Farr has an ace up his sleeve in Hyunwoo Roh, who twirled a perfect game against Goetz Bros during a regular season contest last year.
"It's concerning with Roh facing Rojahn," Farr said. "It's two good pitchers. What if we lose 1-0 or 2-1, then I can't pitch Roh. Yet, it's too risky if you don't pitch him."
Menlo Chevron has several players who returned from last year's title team: Rojahn, Josh Kasevich, Clark Mellen, Liam Mauck, Joey Olhausen and Ben Civjan, to name a handful.
"Menlo Chevron was the team to beat coming into the season," Farr said. "They've been hit by some attendance problems during the season. If they have all their guys, they could be the favorite."
The Oaks have some good pitching with Roh, Cameron Vaughan, Paul Thie and Nick Melvin, nephew of Oakland A's manager Bob Melvin, a 1979 grad of Menlo-Atherton High.
"I expect to have a full roster for the tournament," Farr said.
Ada's has had to eat up some pitching to qualify for the playoffs, but can't be taken lightly with the likes of Robert Lopez, Reece Lindquist, Sam Lee, George Welcn and Kazuma Yamamoto on the roster.
Top players for Alhouse include catcher Michael Panitchpakdi, Erick Flores and Zach Rosner.
Alhouse was the 2012 and 2013 champions with The Oaks winning in 2014.
The tournament runs through Tuesday with the title game slated for 5 p.m., all played at Baylands. There are no games on Sunday.