Three days into the District 52 Little League Majors all-stars tournament, three teams have emerged as the teams to beat.
On Sunday, Palo Alto American met one of them, San Mateo National, which put on a power display in a 14-2 victory in four innings at La Entrada School.
Drake Riley and Tyler Flynn each homered and Alpine West Menlo stayed alive with a 20-3 victory over Redwood City East.
Menlo Atherton edged Palo Alto National, 6-4, to live and play another day.
SM National hit seven home runs, four by Jake Willerup, who unleashed a quartet of tape-measure shots in four trips to the plate.
His final blast, coming on a 3-2 pitch, was driven to right-center, providing SM National with the mercy-rule win in the bottom of the fourth.
PA American tries to stay alive Monday in a losers bracket game vs. San Carlos American at Ford Field in Portola Valley at 12:30 p.m.
SC American eliminated Ravenswood of East Palo Alto 17-0 on Sunday.
PA American manager Joe Adams believes his club can make a run through the losers bracket.
"We, actually, have a pretty good team," Adams said. "I don't think anybody is thinking about us. We can surprise some teams. We surprised San Mateo National early on. We put it on them early like I wanted to, but we left some guys out there. It would have helped our cause. They turned the momentum around and scored."
PA American had a leadoff single by Ryan Leong to start the game. Left-handed hitting Sebastian Chancellor went the opposite way for a single and PA American had something brewing with runners on at first and second with no out.
After Leong was forced at third on a fielder's choice play, Danny Peters tomahawked a double to left-center, plating Chancellor. SM National starter Gavin Sierra retired the next two hitters to escape further damage.
Willerup clouted one into the tennis courts in left in the bottom of the first for a 2-1 lead.
PA American's Viday Homan sent a high fly ball to center to start the top of the second. The ball sailed over the center fielder's head, then bounced off the fence as Homan hustled all the way to third for a triple. Homan alertly scored on a wild pitch.
Sierra allowed an infield single to Max Barthelemy in third inning the final two innings, striking out five batters for the game.
Willerup added two-run home runs in the second and third innings, driving in nine runs for the game.
Oliver Crank cranked one over the right-center field fence to start the fourth inning. That was followed by a home run by Edger Sanchez.
Mike Agelopoulos hit a solo shot for SM National in a five-run second inning as the home team flexed its muscles throughout.
"It's tough to beat a team when one guy hits four home runs," Adams said. "Then the rest of the team has a few more. That's a good team. That lineup is tough. Up and down, any of those guys can go yard."
Chancellor, playing in center field, made a fine play on a line drive in right-center to rob Nick Soudah of extra bases in the bottom of the fourth.
Besides SM National, other teams looking formidable include San Mateo American, a 10-7 winner of Hillsborough in an intense game on Sunday, and Pacifica American.
SM National has outscored its first three opponents by a combined 39-4.