Alhouse picked up right where it left off with a 12-6 win over Dutch Goose Saturday at Baylands Park to force a second game with the Palo Alto Babe Ruth championship on the line.
After a remarkable 12-run rally in the seventh inning Thursday of a 16-6 win over Old Pro and then the blowout win in the first game Saturday, the question arose — can anyone slow down the Alhouse locomotive, does anyone have a chance against the momentum that team has at its disposal?
Turns out Ashton Chow and his Dutch Goose teammates had an answer. The Goose exploded for 11 runs in the second inning and Chow appeared to be in cruise control on the mound, holding Alhouse scoreless until there were two outs in the fifth inning. And when Chow recorded the third out in the inning it was all over with Dutch Goose winning the Palo Alto Babe Ruth championship with a 13-1 victory.
So how did Dutch Goose bounce back from that drubbing in game one?
"That was reflective of our whole season," Dutch Goose head coach Vasken Giuragossian said. "We're a team that can do both extremes. A big blow up, giving up eight or nine runs in an inning, and the next game shut down a team with our defense."
In the first game five Dutch Goose pitchers combined to walk 12. Alhouse scored four in the second, three in the fourth and four more in the fifth. It was 12-3 heading to the bottom of the seventh as left-hander Joseph Hohl did an excellent job of inducing weak contact. He didn't strike out a batter in his six innings, but walked only one.
Dutch Goose managed three in the bottom of the seventh off an Alhouse reliever. It seemed like a mere footnote at the time, but turned out to be a precursor of what was to come in the second game.
"After the first game we just said, let's have some fun, let's play loose," Guiragossian said. "Let's not overthink this. At the end of the day it's up to the kids. They were here because they love the game."
Chow faced the minimum six batters over the first two innings and in the bottom of the second Dutch Goose erupted for 11 runs. Wes Peterson got it started with an RBI double. A second run scored on a single by Shane Timmons, a third came home on a bases-loaded walk to Nate Donaker. Sean Li's sacrifice fly made it 4-0 and Nolan Cook's two-run double necessitated an Alhouse pitching change. Jake Papp put the capper on the inning with a two-run single.
And that was more than enough for Dutch Goose to emerge with the city championship in a year in which no all-star competition will take place.
"(We've) been very good in tough situations," said catcher and cleanup hitter Coco Vonderhaar, who made a couple of outstanding throws to cut down would-be base stealers at second. "Every player on our team stepped up."