Calling all stars
Tuesday evening revealed a white-hot Nevada City Little League Major All Star team, as NC beat Sierra Foothills 10-0 in four innings at Bear River, capped off by Robbie Porter going yard.
Dillon Hadley started the game on the mound for Nevada City and overpowered Sierra Foothills, as he gave up a lone hit in three innings while earning four strikeouts.
Daniel Charvoz stepped up in the fourth inning in Hadley’s place. Charvoz struck out two in the final inning, and had an offensive game to boot, batting 2 for 2.
Ryan Zink led Nevada City with the bats as he had 3 RBI in a 3-for-3 performance. Porter went 3 for 3 as well, picking up a double in addition to his game-ending homer, which put the score at 10-0 and brought the 10-run rule into effect.
Nevada City never lightened its attack on Sierra Foothills, scoring three in the first two innings and two in the final two.
With nearly-flawless defense, highlighted by a single error given up by Nevada City, combined with great pitching NC coach Phil Zink said winning the game became a simple task.
The Nevada City players will face what their coaching staff considers to be a much more formidable matchup at 5 p.m. today in tournament host Bear River.
Grass Valley hangs on for win
With a 5-1 lead after four and a half innings, it looked as though Grass Valley was ready to head off the field as victor, but Penn Valley nearly pulled off an upset over the duration of the final three innings before falling 5-4 Tuesday at Bear River in the first round of the Majors tournament.
The pitchers were on fire in the first two innings, with Grass Valley’s Dillon Jones striking out the side in the first and facing only three more batters in the second. Bear River’s Josh Page faced only one more batter than Jones, picking up one strikeout and giving up two hits.
But from that point on, Grass Valley was nearly unstoppable, picking up two runs in the third and three in the fourth.
Helped by home runs from Zion Davidson and Kirby Hopper, Grass Valley jumped out to a four-run advantage. But then came the errors, and with them the rise of Penn Valley.
Kyle Hoyt swung momentum to Penn Valley’s side with his three-run triple in the fifth. And in the sixth, after limiting Grass Valley to one hit, Zach Vallejo had a two-out RBI single to bring the score to 5-4. But when Matt Blesio struck out the third batter of the inning, Penn Valley found itself in the single-elimination consolation bracket.
“We made it exciting, that’s for sure” said Grass Valley Manager Scott Jones. In their first game playing together, Jones’ kids needed to show unity to get the expected win, especially after a four-run slip late in the game, he said.
For the final three outs, they showed just that, with a little help from Jones.
“I just told them to get focused,” he said, “to put the mistakes behind them … it worked.”
In a similar situation for Penn Valley, manager Steve Bucher wished his players had come around just a bit earlier.
“People had been saying Grass Valley was favored,” he said. “That’s probably why the kids were a little tense. Once they figured out they could play with them they were right in it.”
Penn Valley hopes to be right in it today, in a 7:30 p.m. consolation matchup with Sierra Foothills. Grass Valley has today off and meets the winner of tonight’s Nevada City-Bear River game at 7 p.m. Thursday.
District 11, Area 2
9-10 All Stars
(At Western Gateway Park, Penn Valley)
Sierra Foothills 8, Nevada City 0
11-year-old All Stars
(At Pioneer Park, Nevada City)
Bear River 8, Grass Valley 0
Major All Stars
(At Bear River Little League)
Nevada City 10, Sierra Foothills 0
Grass Valley 5, Penn Valley 4
Junior All Stars
(At Auburn Little League)
Penn Valley 14, Grass Valley 11
Nevada City 4, Bear River 2
Senior All Stars
(At Tri-City Little League)
Rocklin win, Auburn forfeit
For complete brackets, see Page B3.
For more information on District 11 Little League, including directions to area tournaments, click onto http://www.district-11.org. Coaches may report scores to The Union by calling 477-4240.
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Hank Sowell’s introduction to the game of golf came early as a set of clubs was among the gifts he received on his very first birthday.