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Westside Shuts Down Metro 

Santa Clara Westside improved to 2-0 in pool play on Tuesday afternoon with a thumping of Sunnyvale Metro. The 12U All Stars from Santa Clara jumped out to an early advantage by dropping a five spot in the top of the first.

Alec Howell led off the game with a single to center, one of his three hits on the afternoon. Lucas Micun followed up by launching a double into the right-center, opposite-field gap. Westside starting pitcher Jack Maldonado notched the game’s first RBI with a fielder’s choice grounder to second. Maldonado would reach safely on an error by the second baseman.

Two batters later Max Rubio knocked in the second run of the inning with an infield single to shortstop. Josh Capps drove in the next two runs with a scorching double, nearly an identical hit to Micun’s line drive, as it split the right-center-field gap. After a single from Tyler Hancock, Carter Nabhan drove in the final run of the inning with an RBI groundout.

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Westside never looked back from there. The offense would score at least one run in all six innings, and the pitching and defense both shined in an eventual 12-2 victory over Metro. Maldonado, Hancock, Howell and Capps split the pitching duties. Westside carried a shutout into the bottom of the fifth before Sunnyvale finally broke through with a pair of runs.

The defense shined behind Westside’s pitchers with Julian Ramirez starting a dazzling, inning-ending double play at second base in the first inning. Ramirez made one quick step and pocketed a ball that was smoked off the bat, flipped it to Howell at second base, who made a nice turn and fired to first in plenty of time.

“He has incredible hands. He just has a natural inclination for the game to play middle infield,” praised Westside Manager Vinnie Santiago on Ramirez. “I never had the opportunity to coach him before this, but I’ve always wanted to because he has a feel for the game. He knows where he needs to be; he knows what hop he wants. He just knows how to play the position.”

“That was a really impressive play,” chimed Howell on his double-play partners’ impressive stop at second base. “But he’s been making a lot of those plays at practice so it’s not a shocker to see that.”

Ramirez’s double play wasn’t the only standout defensive gem. Noa Tesimale ended the game from right field by throwing a runner out at first base on what appeared off the bat to be a single.

“That was a heads up play for sure,” added Santiago on Tesimale’s game-ending gem. “There is an awareness there that is instinctual. Some guys get put in the outfield and aren’t thrilled about being there. Noa was a shortstop and second baseman all year, but he was out there and very easily could have been disengaged, but he was into it and made the right play.”

A third nice defensive play came when Rubio caught a would-be base stealer to end the second inning. It was a particularly surprising steal attempt with Sunnyvale down 6-0 at the time. Nonetheless, Rubio’s cannon and Howell’s tag had the Metro runner out by 10 feet.

Whether it was throwing runners out, striking batters out, or launching line drives, Westside showed off dominance in all three phases of the game. The All Stars will look to keep it going when they play Saturday, June 24 against Campbell.

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1 Comment
  1. Melinda Lutz 8 months ago
    Reply

    As the esteemed President of the league, I am immensely proud of the outstanding achievements of our Farm, Minor, and Major Division TOC and AllStar teams this year. These remarkable players have undoubtedly proven themselves as champions and have truly showcased their exceptional skills. Leading such a talented group of individuals is an absolute honor.

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