Kevan Chen's two-run double warranted something special. One of the Palo Alto coaches made sure it happened.
Chen delivered the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh inning, lifting the Palo Alto 11-12 all-stars to an 8-7 victory over Pacifica American in Monday's elimination game of the District 52 all-star tournament at Middlefield Park in Palo Alto.
Just before Chen was mobbed by his teammates, Palo Alto coach Shawn Owen gave him a short ride on his shoulder.
A normal little league game needs six innings but that wasn't enough for these two evenly-matched teams. The lead changed hands nearly every inning with Pacifica tying it in the top of the sixth and then going ahead in the top of the seventh.
Marco Arradaza walked to open the bottom half of the seventh. Battle Scott singled and Adi Weiner's sacrifice bunt turned into a fielder's choice that loaded the bases.
Chen drilled the first pitch into the outfield, with Arradaza and Scott scoring, setting off simultaneous celebrations at home plate and out near second base. Eventually, everybody ended up smothering Chen.
Justin Fung and Lucas Lai each drove in runs to give Palo Alto a 2-0 edge in the first before the lead bounced between dugouts the rest of the way.
Tye Peavey, the starting pitcher, doubled, singled, walked and scored twice for Palo Alto, which plays San Mateo American in another elimination game Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Fung tripled, singled, drove in a run and scored twice. Scott added three hits, including a double, and scored twice, including the winning run.