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By Julie Craft
Belmont Redwood Shores Little League (BRSLL) 11-year-old All-Stars continued their winning streak, beating out Hillsborough Thursday night 6-4 and advancing into the winner’s bracket finals where they will face Menlo-Atherton at 10 a.m. Saturday at , Redwood City.
Ace Sean Lee was starting pitcher for BRSLL throwing to all-star Dominic Susa who caught for BRSLL the entire game. Despite quickly loading the bases, BRSLL was able to shut down the top of the inning with no run scores due to all-star fielding and three outs made by Lee, Brad Shimabuku at short and Ryan Anderson at second. In the bottom of the first, Anderson slammed a double, Lee was walked and Susa crushed the ball to the left outfield fence for a double and run batted in (RBI), ending the first inning 1-0.
At the top of the second, Lee ruled the mound quickly making 2 outs, followed a walk and two hits, but with errors two RBIs came in, ending the top of the second at 1-2. Leading off the bottom the second, Taylor Douglis smacked a single and pinch runner Josh Fong scored off Zach Wong’s power single to right field. Nicolas Lopez stepped up to the plate ready to rumble and set the ball sailing over the fence for the first home run of the game and two RBIs followed by the Dominator Susa who followed Lopez’s lead crushing the ball over the fence for two more RBIs, ending the inning with a 6-2 lead.
BRSLL quickly shut down the top of the third inning with Sammy Bean at third gunning the ball to first for the first out followed by Lee walking one batter and striking out two. Hillsborough brought in a new pitcher in the bottom of the third who was throwing a nasty curve ball driving two quick outs, walking one, with Daniel Friis at the plate driving an amazing hit into center field almost over the fence, but caught at the last second by the center fielder, holding the score 6-2.
Top of the fourth inning, three batters hit driving in one RBI for Hillsborough, with two outs and based loaded, Lopez relieved Lee at the mound and with laser focus shut down the inning with no additional runs scored leaving three runners stranded on base. The Hillsborough new pitcher continued his stride shutting down the inning with three batters up and three down, closing the gap 6-3.
Heading into the fifth, Lopez walked one and struck one out and then relied on his all-star defensive team to shut down the top of the inning with no runs scored, Evan Jones scored an out at second base followed by Shimabuku’s power jump to catch a hard hit fly ball for the final out at third base. In the bottom of the fifth, with two outs, Luke Bugbee headed to the plate battling hard to get the walk and quickly stealing second, but the Hillsborough pitcher continued to throw strikes, shutting down the inning and holding the score, 6-3.
The intensity grew and the crowd got loud as the Hillsborough team knew this was their last chance to score or they would be heading to the consolation bracket. With the first three batters, Lopez walked one followed by two hits and one RBI, closing the gap, 6-4. Lopez tuned out the boisterous Hillsborough crowd striking out the next two batters.
With bases loaded again and two outs, it could have been anyone’s ballgame, if not for the all-star backhanded catch by Wong in right field, ending the game, 6-4.