Doing it the hard way.
Goetz Brothers needed to win two games Tuesday against regular-season champion Sundance to win the Palo Alto Babe Ruth championship.
The team did just that, winning 6-5 and 7-4 at Baylands Park.
Goetz Brothers head coach Ron Willis had been waiting for this. The 70-year-old Willis has coached in Palo Alto Babe Ruth for 50 years, since he was 20, and this was his first championship.
“It really feels good,’’ he said. “This is a great group of kids.’’
Goetz Brothers jumped out to a first-inning lead in both games, scoring five in the top of the first in the first game and two in the second game.
Goetz never relinquished either lead as Trevor Leon pitched a complete game in the first game and Eliot Zeien went the distance in the nightcap.
Sundance only needed to win one game. But once Goetz Brothers took the first game, momentum was on its side.
“We had our ups and downs,’’ said Zeien, who had two hits in each game in addition to pitching the clincher. “As the pressure built and it got darker my heart was pounding.’’
Goetz Brothers set the tone in the first inning of the first game with that five-run outburst. Leon started it off getting hit by a pitch. Zeien doubled, Owen Crevelt doubled, Drew Stanley singled, Sean Quinlan singled, Will Pires singled and Nathan Cohen doubled. Eight batters into the game Goetz Brothers had five runs on six hits.
Sundance closed to within 5-4 with two runs in the first and two in the fourth. Goetz got an insurance run in the fifth on an RBI single by Zeien. That run turned out to be important when Kylen Liu hit a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh -- his second of the game.
“I’ve never seen anyone hit two home runs in a game here,’’ Willis said.
In the second game, Goetz had a 5-1 lead when Sundance scored three in the fifth to make it 5-4. But Goetz answered with Cohen’s two-run single in the seventh and held on for the win.
“We had to battle back in both games,’’ Sundance coach Ron Fried said. “We just couldn’t get the big hit to get over the hump. Teams coming out of the loser’s bracket, if they have pitching they can get hot. We sat for a couple of days and couldn’t generate any kind of momentum. Congratulations to Ron Willis. He deserves it. It’s been a long time coming for him.’’