Little League Baseball: Junior All Stars win NorCal crown

Marshall Silva, of the Gilroy All Stars, prepares to toss the ball during the Northern California championship game against Sacramento Friday. 

FREMONT—Gilroy, meet your newest state champions.
The Gilroy Little League Junior All Stars topped Sacramento 4-1 on Friday to clinch the Junior League Northern California Division II Championship in Fremont. The win secures the team’s bid to the Western Regional tournament in Vancouver, Wash.
Not only did the team win the NorCal crown, but also made history doing it. Juniors manager Bob Santos said this is the first Juniors baseball team to ever reach the Western Regionals tournament.
“I’m very proud of the kids,” he said. “They’ve been working hard. It’s a talented group, so we’re not totally surprised.”
Gilroy opened the Northern California tournament with three straight wins before losing 6-0 to College Glen Little League from Sacramento on Thursday. Sacramento was making its way through the loser’s bracket and with one loss apiece, the tournament crown was up for grabs on Friday.
The All Stars jumped on Sacramento early in the championship game, scoring three runs in the first inning. Gilroy notched two off a Joseph Aguilera double and added another off Jacob Longworth’s sacrifice fly.
Garret Santos widened Gilroy’s lead late, hitting a sac fly in the fifth inning to put his team up 4-0. Sacramento scored its lone run in the final inning.
But the All Stars didn’t rely on their bats alone. The team saw stellar pitching performances, too.
“We got some strong pitching from Ben Zanger to start off with and Marshall Silva pitched the last two,” Bob Santos said.
There was little time to celebrate as the All Stars went right back to work with practices on Saturday and Monday. Bob Santos said he was heading up to Washington today with the rest of the team expected to leave tomorrow in order to make the tournament’s opening ceremonies on Wednesday.
The All Stars will kickoff the tournament the Nevada champions at 4 p.m. Aug. 6.
8.6 vs. Nevada, 4 p.m.
8.7 vs. Hawaii, 4 p.m.
8.8 vs. Montana, 7 p.m.
8.9 vs. Alaska, 1 p.m.