Open Season! 2017 Commentary and Gallery

D59 Fall Ball Champs
Sunday, November 12
by moreball

 Nov. 11-12. Evergreen LL, San Jose.  Palo Alto (6W-3L) came into D59 Fall Ball Tournament with good pitching depth and a timely offense. They stepped up both this weekend.  In the Championship game last Sunday, Palo Alto's Kelvin Jiang pitched 5 innings of 3 hit ball with 6 K's, allowing 3 runs (2 unearned). Carson Leclerc came in to close the last two innings giving up only one run in the top of the sixth. Still, PA found itself down 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth.

Evergreen's starting pitcher who had held PA's top of the order to only 3 hits through 5 innings was replaced and Kelvin Jiang greeted the reliever's first pitch with one quick swing, sending it over the centerfield fence for the season's first 5070 HR, tying the game at 4 apiece.  PA's offense ignited, getting the next 3 batters on base with singles by Palo Silva and Carson Leclerc and a walk for Kylie Liu. After a couple of following strikeouts, Erik Cohen hit a 2 out line drive to short right field for the game winning RBI.  Erik Cohen, the teams "rookie" had his last LL season 2 years ago in PCL, never playing LL Majors.

Carson Leclerc, who led PA's offense with 3 for 3 hitting, closed out the 7th getting Evergreen to fly out three times all to PA's centerfielder Palo Silva.  The last one had the Evergreen stands momentarily cheering wildly and PA grimacing until Palo Silva with a superman leap, snared the hard hit line drive deep in right-center. In a few seconds, the sounds from the stands completely reversed as the new champs celebrated on the field. "Your outfield caught everything this weekend," lamented the Evergreen manager. Joaquin Antonio, Kieran Zajac, and Sidd Shashi shared the left and right side in PA's perfect outfield. 

In the morning's semifinal, Kieran Zajac blanked Redwood City striking out 5 over 3 innings for the win with Jonathan Mar adding 2 more K's, closing out the 4th in a 10 run-ruled game.  Kieran Zajac, Nate Watkins, and Kelvin Jiang led the PA offense, each going 2 for 3.

In Saturday's afternoon pool play, Zack Silver struck out 9 Evergreen batters, allowing 4 runs that also saw PA trailing 6-5 late in the game. With the sun going down, PA rallied in the bottom of the sixth with back2back doubles from Sidd Shashi and Pooja Bucklin tying the seed-determining game.  Tying Evergreen meant PA was first seed for Sunday giving them an early morning bye.  The doubles also came off Evergreen's best pitcher who dominated in Sunday's final.

Earlier in the morning, Elliot Grant started the PA pitching performance throwing 4 innings limiting Niles Centerville to 2 runs with 4 K's. Erik Cohen and Kieran Zajac led the PA offense with 2 for 3 hitting.  Also, PA power showed up early too from Carson Leclerc and Kylie Liu's big doubles.