Junior Little League: SoCal blanks Gilroy in semis

Gilroy Junior All Star Travis Romero makes the tag at second as Garret Santos backs up the play during the team's championship game against Sacramento Friday. The Garlic City boys won 4-1.

VANCOUVER, WASH.—The Gilroy Junior All Stars had no answer for Southern California’s pitching during Tuesday’s Junior Western Regional semifinal game.
SoCal’s Merrick Baldo pitched seven solid innings, allowing just three hits while striking out four in his team’s 14-0 win over the Garlic City guys. SoCal, represented by Manhattan Beach Little League, outhit Gilroy 16-3.
Gilroy struggled out of the gate as its SoCal counterparts notched seven runs over the first two innings. Jonathan Aguilera got the start, but lasted just one and two-third innings after allowing six runs on seven hits. Aguilera also recorded two strikeouts and three walks.
Travis Romero took over on the hill and tossed the next four and two-third innings for the Northern California crew. He gave up five runs—four earned—on five hits with four walks and a strikeout. Romero and the defense held SoCal to scoreless fourth and fifth innings before it added a run in the top of the sixth to lead 9-0.
Shawn Hernandez closed out the game for Gilroy, allowing two of SoCal’s five runs in the seventh to cross the plate. Hernandez also recorded a strikeout.
Gilroy’s best chance to score came in the final frame. Aguilera led off with a double to centerfield, but the next three batters went up and down in order to end the game.
Sebastian Duarte singled in the bottom of the fourth, but his pinch runner—Sergio Sanchez—would only reach second before the final out was called.
It was a similar story in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs, Marshall Silva hit a line drive single to keep NorCal’s hopes alive. Sanchez was brought in to run, but was once again stranded.
Gilroy will play Washington at 1p.m. Wednesday in the consolation game.