Whew! What a Super Saturday it was at Boyle Park on June 10, as three City Champions were crowned, All-Star hats were handed out and O’Dogg honorees were recognized — just in time to launch an All-Star season for the summer.
As has been characteristic for decades at Boyle, the City Championships create magical environments for players and fans alike, many of whom hang on the fences in the outfield to create a “packed house” feel to the day.
The Majors Yankees won a 5-4 thriller over the Braves to grab the title as the 8-seed in the playoffs; the Minors Giants held off the Cardinals, 8-6, at the Thalia diamond; and in Minors AAA, the A’s beat the Rangers, 7-4, to capture the Swirl Cup. To the action:
Yankees 5, Braves 4 — It wasn’t over until Yankees pitcher Kaiden Dossa fanned the final hitter with the bases loaded to preserve victory, a true good-to-the-last-out City Championship.
The Yankees’ magical run through the playoffs — knocking off the No. 1 seed Giants and the tough Cubs — was not to be denied. The Lam brothers, Colin and Hudson, led the way at the plate and on the base paths, Colin Lam scoring the game’s first run on a passed ball, and later when a Hudson Lam double scored Colin.
The Braves would not go quietly. In the third inning, they struck for three when Thomas Harrison knocked an RBI single and Charlie Horowitz chimed in with an RBI double. The Braves led, 3-1, after three.
Dylan Murphy took the bulk of the work on the mound for the Yanks, hurling four innings of seven-strikeout ball. He allowed three unearned runs, and left with a 4-3 lead, after the Pinstripes received a clutch two-run double from Dossa.The Yankees extended it to 5-3 when Colin Lam again took advantage of a passed ball to score, baserunning aggression rewarded.
That led the climactic finish, with the tying run stranded 60 feet from home plate. The Yankees would celebrate with the trophy, while the Braves head into summer knowing a game effort was just shy.
Giants 8, Cardinals 6 — In a battle of the 1-seed versus the 2-seed, the top-seed Giants closed the deal when closer Tito Fierstein fanned the final hitter, who represented the potential tying run. The final out snuffed out a three-run rally by the Cards in the final inning, the last gasp in a battle of Minors heavyweights.
The Giants had too much for the Cards; too much pitching, too much hitting. The bats answered an early two-run home run by the Cardinals’ Will Richardson, plating five in the second and three more in the third. The second inning rally was fueled by Hayden Thill’s two-run double, and capped by Mikah Moutafian’s big home run over the left-center field fence.
On the mound, Giants starter Jake Son only allowed two runs in three solid innings, while Tristan Diecks only allowed a solo home run by Cormac Erving in the fourth and fifth innings to enter the final frame ahead, 8-3.
At that point, Michael Rueter’s home run — the fourth of the game by both teams, and third by the Cards — tightened the atmosphere, and Fierstein entered. Cormac Erving made it even more intense with a two-out, two-run double to make it 8-6.
But Fierstein closed the door, and the Giants celebrated with the “Billy,” the Minors City trophy named for outgoing league president and 26-year Mill Valley Little League volunteer mainstay Bill Johnston.
A’s 7, Rangers 4 — Lars Jackson threw three shutout innings and had a big day at the plate, and Cole Kramlich closed it out with three innings on the mound as the A’s hoisted the Swirl Cup in triumph. The victory by the green-and-gold capped only the second year of Minors AAA, which is allowing 9-year-olds to compete against each other and better prepare for Minors ball.
9-YEAR-OLD ALL STARS
Mill Valley 9, San Rafael 4 — Scott Olinger, Will Gensler and Henry Pearson combined for six innings of five-hit ball as the Mill Valley 9s opened a four-team tournament with a win at Babe Silva Field in Novato on June 11. Gensler added an RBI ground-rule double, following a key two-run double by Hank Murray to pace Mill Valley’s four-run fourth inning. Lars Jackson broke open a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the third, and Gus Grumet followed with an RBI triple for Mill Valley, which hosts Novato North at Boyle Park on June 14.
ALL-STAR HAT RECIPIENTS
After the City Championships, recipients of the prestigious “O’Dogg” Awards, which honor players who exhibit the most courage, sportsmanship and heart, were named at a ceremony, followed by the “Hat Ceremony,” honoring All-Stars. The following players were named:
12 YEAR OLDS
Will Bennett, Charlie Blau, Joshua Clark-Hexter, Owen Dasovich, Colin Day, Nicholas Ferraro, Jack Fierstein, Carson Frame, Emmet George, Cole Harrison, Thomas Harrison, Colin Lam, Hudson Lam, Caden Maas, Nate McNeal, Jack Mollner, Shane Patel, Grant Selig, Christian Son, Lukas Stoker.
11 YEAR OLDS
William Basnight, James Bonneau, Thomas Boyle, Ryan Burns, Tyler Buxton, Kaiden Dossa, Miles Gensler, Jack Hanna, Zane Kiger, Brendan King, Bryn Kramlich, Kolby Lieman, Ronan Mackay, Gage McKay, Niall Shiels-Donegan, Henry Simpson, Owen Swenson, Wesley Wihlborg, Mercer Yee, Braden Young.
10 YEAR OLDS
Hugo Barberie, Bennett Dammann, Elliot Dasovich, Max Fiek, Teddy Fierstein, Finley Goulet, Reed Hanna, Cooper Hatch, Farhan Khaliq, Cooper Kift, Cole Maxson, Shade Murray, Ivan Pudelka, Ryan Simon, Eli Solem, Andrew Sternfels, Henry Stoll, Jackson Van Til.
The 10s/11s/12s start All-Star play on June 24. Stay tuned here for regular updates as the All-Star squads progress.