The Sunnyvale Red Sox squeaked past the Moreland Giants on Tuesday afternoon to advance to the semifinal round of the Tournament of Champions. Led by strong two-way performances from brothers Trey and Joe Dumesnil, the Red Sox are now two wins away from finishing the season as District 44 TOC Champs.
The Dumesnil brothers showed off championship poise with their efforts against the Giants. Both Trey and Joe helped the visiting Sox get on the board with two runs right off the bat. After leadoff man Jaden Chen drew a walk, Trey Dumesnil followed with a free pass himself two batters later. Hitting one spot behind his brother, cleanup hitter Joe Dumesnil smoked the first hit of the game with an RBI single up the middle. Trey would then come around to score when No. 5 hitter Evan Liu also drove a hard single into center field.
On the defensive side of the field for the Red Sox, the team looked sharp in holding the Giants scoreless for the first three innings. Trey Dumesnil started on the mound and looked like a dominant ace on the hill.
“I have a fastball, changeup and curveball and my curveball was doing pretty good,” remarked Dumesnil after the game on his repertoire. “My fastball wasn’t always in the zone, but it was still pretty good.”
His brother’s defense at shortstop behind him was pretty good, too. Perhaps the most impressive play of the game, was one that won’t show up in the box score. With a runner at second and two outs, a ground ball was hit deep into the hole between third base and shortstop. Joe Dumesnil ranged far to his backhand and pocketed the ball in his glove. Instead of trying a miracle throw to first base when he had no real chance to get the runner out, Dumesnil astutely held onto the ball. The front runner had advanced to third base on the play, had Dumesnil overthrown his first baseman trying to get the batter out, the runner at third likely would have scored.
“He makes most of the plays out there at shortstop,” chimed Trey Dumesnil on his brother. “He’s usually pretty smart on plays like that.”
“That’s him; that’s Joe,” remarked Red Sox Head Coach Kevin McCray. “Our middle infield is just like that. They know the game really well. They know the situation. We’ve been teaching them year after year after year for these spots. It’s just baseball awareness and Joe definitely came through there.”
Also coming through for the Sox was No. 6 hitter Eaton Sun. With the score tied 2-2 in the top of the six, Sun drew his second walk of the game. This time it came against the Giants’ ace pitcher who was throwing extremely hard. In classic Little League fashion, Sun then came around to score without a hit, advancing 60 feet three different times on wild pitches. It would end up being the final run of the game.
“Lets’ go!” responded Sun on what was going through his head at third base when he saw the ball get past the Giants’ catcher.
Joe Dumesnil would strikeout the final batter of the game, stranding the Giants’ best hitter, who had homered earlier in the game, in the on deck circle.