Section 8 tourney taking shape

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – Mother Nature supplied the spectacular lightning in the distant San Gabriel Mountains but it was Alta Loma Little League and Upland Foothill reliever Tommy Pincin who supplied the thunder.

Alta Loma advanced into the winner’s bracket of the Section 8 Tournament Saturday with a 13-0 win over Apple Valley American in a game that lasted just four innings. Upland Foothill also advanced as Pincin struck out a pair of batters with the bases loaded to save a 5-3 decision over Colton Ken Hubbs.

In a elimination game Monday evening at Red Hill Park, Apple Valley (7-2) and Ken Hubbs (4-1) will vie for survival in the double-elimination tourney at 5 p.m. Alta Loma and Upland Foothill will square off at 8 p.m., with the winner moving on to Wednesday’s finals.

Nursing a two-run lead, Pincin surrendered two hits following a leadoff walk in the sixth inning. However, with lightning flashes to the north and a 85-pitch limit looming, Pincin fanned the brothers Ayala – Joe and Jake – to end the game.

“That was one well-played game against a very good team,” said Upland Foothill manager John Pincin. “We brought in Tommy (in the second inning) because they looked to be a fastball hitting team and he would throw more changes and curves.

“And it allowed us to save (starter Grant Hockin).”

Home runs by Robert Rivas and Ralph Martinez in the first inning prompted the switch to Pincin, who allowed one run and three hits in five innings.

“We were on (Hockin),” said Ken Hubbs manager Carlos Contreras. “(Pincin) had more velocity and he kept us off balance with a good curve. We hit the ball hard, but right at somebody. But that’s baseball.”

Upland Foothill, District 23 titlist, took a 4-1 lead with a three-run rally off Ken Hubs starter Carlos Contreras in the second inning. Garrett Lee singled in one run while a fielder’s choice and wild pitch scored the others. Matt Donley homered in the third for the insurance run.

Lee and and Pincin had two hits for Upland while David Robles had two singles for Ken Hubbs, District 21 champions.

“We didn’t make any errors, and that was very important,” said the elder Pincin. “Plus, our substitutes really contributed, starting with Donley.”

ALTA LOMA 13, APPLE VALLEY 0

The District 71 champions once again flexed their muscles, slamming three homers that accounted for 10 runs in the shortened contest against the District 49 entry.

Uncharacteristically, Apple Valley committed six errors which accounted for eight unearned runs.

“Those errors just killed us,” said Apple Valley manager Rick Cummins, whose team will be back in familiar territory. The desert team (7-2) has played five of its last six games under the threat of elimination.

The Alta Loma shortstop sandwiched a third inning strikeout with a pair of home runs. His three-run blast in the first inning put Alta Loma out front and a grand slam in the fourth put the game game on ice.

Winning pitcher Brenton Arriaga, who needed just 59 pitches in the five-inning game, also slugged a three-run homer off A.V. starter Lane Griffin, which put Alta Loma ahead 6-0.

“It’s not quite what I expected,” said Alta Loma manager Roger Wallace. “We have good power, we had hit 12 homers in the six games getting to this level. We were feeling pretty after the first homer with Brendon on the mound and comfortable after the second one.

“He’s a good pitcher and he gets better as the game goes on.”

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Section 8 tourney taking shape

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