In the opener under threatening skies, Palo Alto scored nine runs in the top of the first and coasted to a win over Taylorsville, Utah. Highlighted by Travis McHugh's two run shot over the right field fence, nine of the first ten PA batters that stepped to the plate wound up crossing it. In the inning, PA tallied seven hits and was helped by Taylorsville's three errors. For the game, which ended after six innings because of the ten-run mercy rule, PA compiled eighteen hits. In addition to his homer, McHugh had a single and a double and drove in four runs. BJ Boyd continued his uncanny play in center field and was two for three with two RBI's. Sam Falkenhagen, Tucker Jorgensen, and Graham Marchant also had two hits. Robert Wickers, Graham Fisher, and Travis McHugh conspired to pitch six effective innings, yielding five hits and six walks and notching one strikeout. The coaches went to the bench early and often, and the reserves responded, including Kyle Zirbes who had three singles in three plate appearances.
In the nightcap, pitcher Scott Kresie tamed the bats of a free-swinging El Segundo squad, and PA applied consistent offensive pressure to go on to victory. Delivering an assortment of off-speed pitches, Kresie scattered seven singles over six innings and surrendered only three walks. He also helped himself with a clutch two run triple in the third inning. While the PA defense improved from its debacle last Saturday, it still made four infield errors, leading to one unearned run. Offensively, every starter had at least one hit as the team amassed 12 hits, including two doubles and two triples. Cleanup hitter Jake Batchelder lined three solid singles and collected three RBI's, while catcher Jordan Piha had two hits, including a double and two RBI's.
With only three teams remaining of the original eight, Palo Alto plays Yuma, Arizona tonight at 7:00 mdt. The winner will then face winners' bracket champion Bakersfield, CA at 5:00 mdt on Thursday, with a second game to immediately follow, if necessary. The tournament champion qualifies for the Babe Ruth 13 World Series in Loudon County, Virginia at the end of August.
First game: Palo Alto vs. Taylorsville, Utah
PA 9 1 0 0 2 1 13 18 2
TU 1 0 1 0 1 0 3 5 5
WP - Wickers
LP - Heingly
HR - McHugh (PA)
2B - McHugh (PA) , Jorgensen (PA)
3 hits -- McHugh (PA), Zirbes (PA)
2 hits -- Boyd (PA), Falkenhagen (PA), Marchant (PA), Jorgensen (PA), Heingly (TU), West (TU)
Multiple RBI's -- McHugh (PA) 4, Boyd (PA) 2, Avis (PA) 2
Second game: El Segundo, CA vs. Palo Alto
ES 0 1 1 1 0 0 3 7 4
PA 1 0 5 2 1 4 13 12 4
WP - Kresie
LP - Lombardo
3B - Falkenhagen (PA), Kresie (PA)
2B - Boyd (PA) , Piha (PA)
3 hits -- Batchelder (PA)
2 hits -- Piha (PA), Stone (ES)
Multiple RBI's -- Batchelder (PA) 3, Kresie (PA) 2, Piha (PA) 2