Junior Little League: Gilroy tops Nevada at Western Regionals

David Martinez bats for Gilroy during the Northern California championship game against College Glen July 31 in Fremont. 

VANCOUVER, WASH.—The Gilroy Junior All Stars had an extra day of preparation—and waiting—before their first game in the Junior Western Regional tournament. While they were bouncing on their heels to take the field, the All Stars, representing Northern California, discovered the meaning of the old adage “patience is a virtue.”
The Garlic City guys blasted their way past Nevada 15-5 in six innings Thursday at Propstra Stadium in Vancouver, Wash. David Martinez was crucial for the NorCal squad going 2 for 3 with three RBIs.
Ben Zanger drove in Gilroy’s final two runs for the 10-run lead. The All Star tallied four RBIs for his team and also closed out the game, recording two strikeouts. 
NorCal jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Nevada scored one in the second, but found itself in a 12-1 hole as NorCal recorded back-to-back four-run innings in the third and fourth. 
Nevada entered the game with a win already under its belt, beating Alaska 10-2 on Wednesday, so NorCal anticipated a tough contest. Nerves affected the Gilroy boys, manager Bob Santos said, which resulted in four runs for Nevada off a couple NorCal errors in the fifth inning. But the rough inning did little to deter NorCal, Santos said, and the team quickly rebounded to get back in the game.
“We were a little nervous at the beginning,” Santos said. “You could tell we were a little tighter than normal…we definitely got back to doing what we do and played a good game for the most part.”
Jacob Longworth got the starting nod for Gilroy, giving up just one walk in his time on the bump. Diego Hsu and Shawn Hernandez came in for relief. Connor Villanueva had a two-run double and three walks for NorCal.
Gilroy continues pool-play at 3 p.m. today against Hawaii. The team from the Aloha State has outscored its opponents 41-1 through the first two games; beating Montana 20-0 on Wednesday and Alaska 21-1 Thursday.
“They’re a very, very strong team,” Santos said. “but we’ll give it our best and see how things go.”

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