Little League All-Stars Majors: Poway National takes down Poway American to advance to title game
By Michael Bower
They city of Poway had plenty to be proud of Sunday with both the Poway American Little League and Poway National Little League major all-star teams playing in the semifinals of the District 31 Tournament.
Unfortunately, the two had to play each other for the coveted spot in Wednesday’s championship game. And this year PNLL emerged as the last majors team standing from the city.
Christian Bonner, Alec Jones and Dayton Dooney all homered to highlight a four-run, fourth inning to break the game open, as PNLL stayed hot at the plate to take down PALL 13-2 and advance to the championship game of the District 31 Majors All-Star Tournament.
“In the past, it seems that PALL has busted us more than we did them, so it was extra sweet to beat them in all-stars,” PNLL all-star coach Mark Bonner said. “They won both the Minor ‘A’ and Majors City Championship games this year, so the way I looked at this was this was the true city championship game.”
It is the first time the PNLL majors have advanced to the district title game since 2000, when the team won the district championship. PNLL will play a very powerful Encinitas squad in the title game Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the PALL Fields. Encinitas is expected to advance far beyond the district tournament.
“They are the team to beat,” Bonner said of Encinitas, which has 10-run ruled three of its four opponents. “We are big underdogs going into this game, but we are the team that can do it. I like our chances.”
PALL followed up last year’s second place finish in the district tournament with another great run this season. After suffering a 16-0 loss to Encinitas to open the tournament, PALL battled back with two straight victories to reach the semifinals. But PNLL was able to land the final knockout blow to PALL.
Dooney finished with four hits and six RBIs to lead the 12-hit attack by PNLL. He had two-run singles in both the first and the second innings to help PNLL take a 5-2 lead.
PNLL opened the flood gates with six hits in the fourth inning, including a two-run blast by Dooney. Jones also had a two-run shot and Bonner crushed a solo bomb to start the home-run rally. PNLL has eight home runs in its last two games and 12 in the tournament.
PNLL starting pitcher Parvinder Ghumman went two-plus innings before giving way to Alec Jones in the third. Jones pitched two-plus scoreless innings before Trevor Riley entered in the fifth to close the game for PNLL.
PALL’s two runs came on Ryan Zhao’s two-run blast in the bottom of the first inning. Zhao smacked a towering shot over the left-field wall to cut PALL’s deficit to 3-2. But that would be all the offense PALL would be able to mount.
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