The Palo Alto Babe Ruth 15U all-star team reached Thursday's Babe Ruth 15U NorCal State Tournament championship through teamwork, grit and determination.
After dropping its second game in the tournament, played at Redwood Shores' Sports Complex, on Sunday, Palo Alto had to win four straight for the chance to advance to the regional tournament in Arizona.
Despite being without two of its top players, Palo Alto rose to the occasion, relying on its full roster to climb into contention.
Palo Alto was stopped one game short, beating Bel-Mateo 2-1 when back-to-back one-out doubles by Michael Gonzalez and Adrian Contreras produced the winning run in the bottom of the seventh, forcing an 'if necessary' game.
Belmont took the final game, 4-1, and advances to Arizona.
Roland Martinez Luna had three hits and drove in a run for Palo Alto. Matthew Caren added a pair of hits.
Palo Alto 14-year-old all-stars
Currently playing in the NorCal State Tournament in Woodland, the Palo Alto 14U Babe Ruth all-stars beat Vallejo, 13-2, earlier in the tournament and had a game scheduled with host Woodland late Wednesday night.
Andre Hyrkin had two hits and drove in two runs in the win over Vallejo. Dominic De Feo, Brody Simison and De'aveon Roberts also drove in two runs each. Danny Peters added two hits and scored four times and Colin Lee drove in a run.
Colin Thibault and Peters combined on a five-hitter, striking out seven and walking two.