Sports

Palo Alto baseball team captures Fall Ball championship

 
Palo Alto went 11-0 on the season. Photo courtesy of Al Chang.

Kanghee Cho doubled home the winning run in the bottom of the final inning of Palo Alto's 10-9 victory over Evergreen over the weekend in San Jose and Palo Alto Little League captured the District 59 Fall Ball 5070 Championship.

Evergreen had taken a 9-8 lead in the top of the fifth on a pair of uncharacteristic errors but was able to escape without any further damage due to the relief pitching of Bennet Quo.

PA's starting pitcher Gus Soedarmono threw 3 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and striking out four and Palo Alto held an 8-3 advantage after three innings.

Chase Veerbek, Ryan Kim and Cho each had multiple hits for Palo Alto (11-0) and both Pablo Schettino and Oscar Anderson turned in defensive gems that saved runs.

Joshua Kao drew a walk to lead off Palo Alto's half of the fifth inning and stole second. Kim singled to drive in the tying run and after Quo walked, Cho drilled a 2-0 pitch to complete the memorable rally.

"Kanghee is one of our hardest workers, he practices at 200 percent effort all the time," PA manager Craig Yanagisawa said. "We were missing our two top hitters (Jonathan Yang and Sawyer Michelsen) and he earned the move up to the '3' spot."

The abbreviated and twice-postponed tournament turned into a one-day affair due to the recent rain and bad air quality from the Camp Fire. Normally a two-day event in early November, it was switched to a one-day, single-elimination tournament with a time limit.

Palo Alto beat Centerville, 11-5, in the first as Kao recorded 12 strikeouts against one walk en route to the five-hit victory. The right-hander posted a 1.06 WHIP, with 14 first-pitch strikes.

Palo Alto scored four times on five consecutive singles in the fourth to take control of the contest. Schettino, Soedarmono, Anderson, Kao, and Kim each singled. Schettino and Kim each had two hits and combined for to drive in five runs.

Aydan See and Neel Sharma each had key singles for Palo Alto.

Yanagisawa was helped by coaches Frank Kao and Eric Anderson.

— PA Little League

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