On June 18, the Palo Alto 13s took the field one win away from capturing the District 52 Intermediate 50/70 All Star Champions Title.

Playing as the visitors in this game’s matchup, the Palo Alto offense picked up where it left off on Saturday … red hot.  Roman Kimble got things started with a single to left. Victor Hernandez followed and crushed a ball into the right center gap for his second triple of the series with Roman scoring easily for the first run of the game. The team didn’t have to wait long for its second run, as the next batter Huxley Hernandez hit a ground ball to the right side of the field allowing Victor to score uncontested.  After just one-half inning, Palo Alto 13s were up 2-0.

In the top of the second, Palo Alto was poised to flex their offensive muscles when David Fox hustled down the line after hitting a hard ground ball that the Pacifica shortstop bobbled and beat out the throw to first. After David stole second, Arjum Ahluwalia singled putting runners at the corners and then proceeded to steal second.  With no outs and runners on second and third, it seemed inevitable that the Palo Alto 13s would add to their lead, but the Pacifica All Stars didn’t cave. With solid defense, Pacifica notched three ground balls to record three outs without giving up a run.

But in the third inning, Palo Alto’s offense would not be denied. Taking advantage of an error by the short stop that allowed Andrew Reed to reach safely, Edward Chen drove the ball to deep left field for a double and scoring Andrew from first base. Using his speed, Edward C took third and home on two wild pitches extending the lead to 4-0. The offense wasn’t finished yet, Huxley H hit a ball back up the middle for a single. Then the catalyst of Saturday’s offense, Carter Quintero, stepped up and knocked a ball down the right field line for a double.  With the table set with runners on second and third, Fox once again came through and drove the ball into center field with two more runs scoring, giving Palo Alto a 6-0 lead.

While the Palo Alto bats were loudly banging the ball around the field and scoring runs, the defense quietly stole the show.  Edward Chen started the game on the mound, and after losing an eight-pitch dual with Pacifica’s lead-off batter, he quickly settled in and the defense stepped up to retire the next three batters in order and squelching any hopes Pacifica had of putting their own first inning runs on the board.  In the second inning, Luke Boswell stepped on to the mound. The solid defense once again stepped up after the first batter reached on an HBP, pocketing two pop flies, and Luke notched his first of six strike outs on the day.  In the third inning, Luke had clearly settled in recording two strike outs and drawing a ground ball that was easily handled by third baseman Edward Chen for a routine out at first.  It was more of the same in the fourth and fifth innings as the Palo Alto defense retired the side 1-2-3 in each frame.  After another scoreless inning in the 6th, Pacifica saw a glimmer of hope as Luke’s pitch count climbed higher as he walked two batters.  But the defense once again was solid–easily handling the two balls put in play before Luke dug deep down and mustered the energy to strike out the last batter of the game.  In the end, Edward Chen and Luke Boswell with the help of their solid defense behind them recorded a combined NO HITTER!

Congratulations to the Palo Alto 13s All Stars for bringing home the District 52 Intermediate 50/70 Championship!

Their next stop – the Section 3 All Star Tournament in Danville, CA, June 29-July 3.  Good Luck!