The Palo Alto 13-year-old Babe Ruth all-star team must have felt they were trapped in a nightmare through the first five innings. The last two were sure dreamy though.
Palo Alto scored 11 runs over the final two innings to stage a serious comeback in beating Bel-Mateo, 12-9, at the Northern California state tournament at McKelvey Field in Mountain View on Tuesday.
Palo Alto is scheduled to meet Woodland on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at McKelvey for a berth in the first championship game against Tri-Valley on Thursday. Tri-Valley beat Woodland, 18-4, in the winner's bracket.
Palo Alto sent 13 hitters to the plate during an eight-run rally in the sixth. Zachary Donaker got things started with a one-out single. William Pires and Matthew Caren walked to load the bases.
Adrian Contreras' fly ball to center was mishandled to allow one run to score, Adar Schwarzbach walked to force in another run and Dylan Donnelly singled home a run.
With two outs, Jonah Elisofon reached on an infield error, allowing two runs to score and Michael Gonzalez singled home two more runs to tie it. After Dean Casey singled, Donaker's infield grounder was misplayed, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
Schwarzbach recorded the final out of the fifth and got redit for the win, though Palo Alto needed clutch relief pitching from Caren and Donaker, an inning each, o make sure Palo Alto held on for the win.
Elisofon's two-run single in the top of the seventh gave Palo Alto the extra cushion it needed.