The Napa American Little League 10-11 All-Stars won the District 53 Tournament title on their own field Saturday with a 12-3 rout of Benicia at Garfield Park.
Luke Tarap was 4 for 5 with two runs scored, Riley Chambers went 3 for 4 with a run scored, Max DeLuca went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, James Keller was 2 for 5 with two doubles and a run scored, and Liam Hunkins went 1 for 2 with a walk and hit by pitch and two runs scored.
Carson Dahl and Tyler Flint were a combined 2 for 3 with two doubles and a walk and two runs scored at No. 6 in the batting order, Jenson Williams and Max Heller combined to go 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored in the No. 7 spot, and Judah Orem and Julian Berge were a combined 1 for 2 with a single, a walk and a sacrifice bunt at No. 8 in the order.
A.J. Herbert and Will Smith batted in the No. 5 spot for Napa American, which led 6-2 after five innings before breaking it open with a six-run sixth.
“Great game by our boys. They played really well,” Napa American manager Sam Herbert said. “They stayed with their approach, trying to hit the ball up the middle, putting the ball in play, making the routine play. We preach that to them all throughout practices and they have bought in and it shows. They’re doing a great job.”
Orem pitched the first five innings for the win, allowing two runs on five hits, six strikeouts and three walks. He overcome one rough inning, the second, when he gave up all three of his walks and two hits but allowed only one run. Keller pitched a hitless sixth, yielding three walks but only one run.
“Judah pitched a great game. I gave him the game ball,” Coach Herbert said. “I don’t usually give game balls to kids because it’s a team effort. But when you get a guy on the mound in a championship game who pitches that well, I’ll make an exception and give a game ball out for a job well done. He did a fantastic job.”
Napa American opened the double-elimination tournament with a 12-2 win over Benicia last Sunday and reached the final with a 15-1 win over Napa National on Tuesday.
“They’ve done a lot of work at the plate in practices and they’ve been doing a great job of seeing their pitch and hitting it,” added Coach Herbert. “They don’t wait around (for pitches). That’s what we preach to them: Be aggressive, if you see your pitch, hit it — it could be the first pitch. They’ve bought in and are doing a great job of that.”
Napa American will open the Section 1 Tournament week at a location and time to be determined.
Freelance photographer Dean Ruggiero contributed to this report.
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