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Serra Little League News
Serra 8Us win 4 of 5 at Moreland Tournament

Matt Merino had a big
tournament offensively
Serra's 8U Tournament Team turned in another solid performance in the Moreland 8u Tournament the week of June 11th. Serra won four straight games, before falling in the tournament Semi Finals. The boys have posted a 10-2 record so far this tournament season and have impressed parents and coaches alike with their hustle and gritty resolve.

Solid defense continues to be the strong suit for the Serra team. During pool play at the Moreland tournament, they limited their opponents to a total of 17 runs or an average of 5.6 runs per game. Their 3-0 record and stellar defense earned them the number 3 seed in the single elimination playoff round. To provide some perspective, the 15 other teams in the tournament allowed an average of 11.5 runs per game.

Serra opened the week-long tournament with a tightly contested 6-3 win over Los Altos Little League's Blue Team.

They scored 8 runs in their second game, beating Branham Hills 8-4. Branham made things difficult by opening the game with a two-run home run in the opening inning, then had two on with no outs in the next frame. Serra extinguished the threat with an incredible 5-4-3 triple play! Serra grabbed the lead in the 3rd and put the game away in the 5th inning on a 3-run inside-the-park home run by Blake Rogers.

Devin James mans 1st base
Serra won their bracket with a 16-11 victory over a tough Quito squad on Friday evening. Quito jumped out to an early lead, scoring 5 runs in the opening inning. They added a pair of runs in the top of the 2nd to extend their lead to 7-1. Kenneth Pan prevented any further damage in the 3rd inning by doubling up a runner at 2nd base after making a catch in center field.

Malcolm Hsu made another fine defensive play by digging a throw out of the ground at first base while in a full stretch. Serra put up a 4 spot in both the 3rd and 4th innings, then cushioned their lead with 5 runs in the 5th. Outfield defense prevented any more damage. Roy Chang made a running grab in foul territory to end the top half of the 5th, then Gilbert Cruzmurillo made a diving catch in center field, barrel-rolling after the catch.

In the tournament Quarter Finals, Serra squared off against Branham Hills again. The boys strung together hit after hit, scoring 5, 3 and 3 runs in the first three innings. Team defense shut down Branham Hills over the final three innings, playing shutout baseball over the final three frames to close out a 13-8 win.

Ryan Ohara drives a ball
Serra faced off against a familiar nemesis in the Half Moon Bay Pirates in the Semi Finals. HMB took a 3-0 lead in the 1st inning, but Serra fought back in the 2nd. With a runner on 1st base, Ryan Lee stroked a triple to center field, splitting two HMB outfielders. Lee would score on a Matt Merino single later in the inning.

Serra countered with 2 more runs in the 3rd to grab the lead, but HMB countered with 5 runs of their own to push their lead back to 9-3.

A stroke of bad luck befell Serra in the next inning. With two outs and a man on 1st base, Rogers hit a ball to deep center field. The ball one-hopped over the fence for a ground-rule double, forcing the runners to stop at 2nd and 3rd. At the very least, one run would have scored had the ball stayed in play. The next batter grounded out to end the inning, killing the rally. Serra's bats fell silent in the last two innings to bring a great tournament run to an end.

Next up for the Serra 8u team is the Santa Clara Westside Little League "Future Stars" Tournament on June 23rd & 24th.

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