Posted by Mike Vickers, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Aug 7, 2008 at 10:54 pm
I drove down to San Bernardino last Friday with my 13 year old son to cheer on our Pleasanton American Little League All Stars. We arrived in time to see the Friday afternoon game against a tough Hawaii team. Jake Dronkers pitched a no hitter with one out in the 6th, only to be pulled from the game due to reaching the 85 pitch count limit. Our boys couldn't hold on to the 1-0 lead and ended up losing a heartbreaker, 2-1. We stayed to watch a very talented Nevada team beat our boys on Sunday.
Go to www.sbsun.com/littleleague for great coverage. You can also pick up an internet broadcast of all the games. PALL plays again Friday, at 4pm, verses Hawaii - a rematch!
Below are notes from Mr. Ron Dronkers, the father of Jake Dronkers.
This is a recap of the San Bernardino blog that is posted on the PALL website – www.pleasantonamerican.com. If you’ve been keeping up with the website, disregard this attachment. If this is new news, double click and read on!
San Bernardino Western Regional Complex
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Our last of 4 guaranteed pool games was scheduled for 12:30 today. Probably the hottest day of the tournament so far, everyone was trying to squeeze in under the small strip of shade cloth erected for the family section. Today's opponent was the Arizona State champions who have advanced to the semi's every season since 1996...well at least that was the rumor. On this day they entered the stadium 0-2.
Jake (Dronkers) started us off with a bang getting the first two batters out on strikes. However, one huge difference in Regional play has been the incredibly shrinking strike zone. Per the official umpires' guide book for the tournament, the strike zone is no wider than home plate and extends from the batter's armpits to his knees. In comparison to the regular-season zone, Jake described this as trying to throw the ball through a postage stamp. The next two batters were walked with Jake shaking his head in disbelief. He gathered himself on the next batter and struck him out to retire the side.
The top of the 2nd gave Jake his worst inning in the post season so far. With the squeezed-down strike zone seeming to shrink even more in the heat, Jake allowed 3 runs with 36 pitches before getting the 3rd out. But his "PALL's" came back to rally with their bats. Jakob Wipfli hit his first home run in SBD, then with bases loaded Ryan Anderson managed a hard hit single to score another; Brian Hsu hit a line drive to left to score two more. With 2 out, Chase Hennings successfully stretched a single into a double to score another pair to pull Nor Cal ahead 6 to 3.
In the bottom of 3, our hitters continued slugging. Kyle Greenan led off with a single, then TJ Freidl followed with a grounder back to the pitcher, but his throw to 2nd caused the baseman to pull his foot. Anderson hit into a fielder's choice to force Kyle at 3rd; Piscotty followed with a line drive past 3rd base and down the foul line all the way to the pole for an RBI scoring Anderson.
Arizona scored one more in the 4th before Dronkers retired on his pitch limit, with Anderson coming in for the long save.
In the bottom of the 5th, PALL managed an insurance run on some tricky base running from Hsu. Having reached 1st on a fielder's choice, Brian was taking an unusually long lead after each pitch enticing the Arizona catcher for a throw. By the 3rd pitch the catcher finally had enough of Brian and launched a ball so hard past his first baseman it looked like a line drive to the foul pole. Even though Brian had dove back head-first into the dirt, he managed to get up and ran all the way home sliding in under the late tag for our 8th run.
Anderson needing only 3 outs for the save got the lead-off out on a grounder, but then gave up 2 consecutive singles and a wild pitch allowing an Arizona run. Ryan took a deep breath and struck out the next batter, walked one more then bore down and wiffed 3 past the last batter for the game-ending strikeout and a huge sigh of relief from the PALL families.
Game Notes: Nick Goldstein took one for the team by getting beaned in the helmet, while Wip took one square between the shoulders. Also a collective "OOH" from the crowd when a high pop-up behind the mound off of Hennings' bat saw the pitcher, shortstop and 2nd baseman converging on the dropping ball with any one of them capable of making the easy catch, but each of them assuming the other was going to do the deed and the entire stadium watched the ball thud into the exact center of their little circle for an infield single.