Friday, July 10, 2009

Game #6 - Novato American vs. Mill Valley

Tonight was game #6 for the Novato American Little League 12 year-old All-Stars who took on my former team from Mill Valley. Both teams came in with 4-1 records, so we knew we were in for a dog fight. And 'oh boy', was it ever!

For the complete photo-set, check out the NALL 12 YO All-Star Shutterfly account.

Game Summary

Novato American again won the coin flip and elected to be home team at Hamann field in Novato. Tyler Torres started for the locals, and worked a few early batters before giving way to Crit Rudkin who ended up going the rest of the way. The Torres-Rudkin combo kept the Mill Valley squad scoreless in the first inning and then Crit did the same thing for the ensuing five innings!

Unfortunately, Brett Bowyer, the Mill Valley starter, did nearly the same thing. For five and one-third innings he kept the Novato side in check in a pitchers duel with Rudkin. He finally reached his maximum pitch count on a walk to Miguel Delgado with one out in the bottom of the sixth in a 0-0 game. After Delgado moved to second on a wild pitch by the Mill Valley reliever, Dylan Wheaton promptly singled to right field. Delgado rounded third with a full head of steam and was narrowly thrown out at the plate by an amazing throw by the right fielder. After the tag, the Mill Valley catcher threw down to second in an attempt to double-up Wheaton who had rounded first and was attempting to take the extra base. Unfortunately, the ball sailed past not only the shortstop covering the bag, but also the centerfielder on its way to the fence. Wheaton popped up off the base and started chugging for third where he was waived on by his dad who furiously pumped his arms motioning Dylan towards home. By that time, the Mill Valley centerfielder had reached the ball and it was on it's way toward home as well, and the inevitable intersection with Wheaton. And then, it was over, as Wheaton slid just under the tag by the Mill Valley catcher. The second time on the play proved the charm, as the umpire signaled "safe" and Novato emerged victorious.

Final Score: Novato American 1, Mill Valley 0

Here are a few highlight shots from today's game

Crit Rudkin (55) mows down one of many Mill Valley batters en route to the win

Dylan Wheaton (10) gets the single that turns into the winning run...

Dylan Wheaton (10) scores the only run of the game with two-outs in the bottom of the sixth inning

The Novato American players pile on Dylan Wheaton after scoring the winning run

Postlude: Since Novato American finished with a 5-1 record, they tied San Francisco American as the winners of the round-robin. As Novato had fewer runs allowed (18 for Novato vs. 22 for SF American) they were deemed the #1 seed for the elimination that starts tomorrow. As a result, Novato American will play Tiburon at Joe Wagner Field in Larkspur at 10 AM. No way I'm going to miss that one.

Cheers! - Jason

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