This story was submitted by Daniel Bergeson, an assistant coast for the Alpine team.
With one of the most potent batting line-ups in recent memory, the Majors Division Alpine-West Menlo All Stars recently took the District 52 Super Bowl Championship at Sea Cloud Park in Foster City.
Alpine beat Menlo-Atherton 10-4 in the title game on June 23, capping an impressive four-game run in four consecutive days. (The Majors Division is for 12-year-olds.)
In its route to the championship, Alpine beat Pacifica 7-2 in eight innings in the first game of the tournament, followed by a 2-0 win over San Mateo, and a 13-7 victory over host Foster City.
It was quite a run. "In four games, these kids never lost focus," Alpine coach Ken Tinsley said. "It was really something to see."
In the title game, Will Richardson started and pitched five strong innings, before Evan Vandermas came in and pitched a shut-out sixth inning.
Coach Tinsley had the luxury of being able to choose from several players to take the mound. All told, six Alpine players pitched in the tournament, and pitched well.
In Alpine's first-game victory over Pacifica, Joe Armstrong pitched seven shutout innings. Then Thomas Suesser pitched a complete shutout game in Alpine's 2-0 victory over San Mateo.
Daniel Hill, John Bergeson and Greg Ramies then combined to pitch in Alpine's 13-7 victory over Foster City in the semifinals. The pitching duo of Richardson and Vandermas then brought home the metal in the championship game.
Alpine also shined in the field. In the championship game, a strong M-A team threatened on several occasions. However, several stellar defensive plays by Alpine prevented M-A from being able to overcome Alpine's lead.
Macklan Badger, Alpine's third baseman, made a solid play in throwing our M-A's lead-off batter in the fifth inning on a hard-hit grounder. And Riley Tinsley, playing center field, caught everything in sight, and stopped M-A from scoring more runs in the third inning with a perfect throw to catcher Greg Ramies to tag out an M-A runner at the plate.
The infield play of Thomas Suesser at shortstop was particularly strong throughout the tournament.
But the real story of the tournament was Alpine's powerful batting lineup. Throughout the tournament Alpine scored early and often. Alpine scored a total of 32 runs in the four-game tournament, and would have scored more were it not for several outstanding defensive plays by M-A and Alpine's other opponents.
Alpine had power up and down the lineup. Riley Tinsley hit a grand slam in the Foster City win. Joe Armstrong, Greg Ramies, Will Richardson, Alex Laird and Grant Henninger all contributed big hits throughout the tournament. John Bergeson, hitting third in the lineup, went 5-5 in the win against Foster City, and had three RBIs and scored three times in the championship game against M-A. Bergeson finished the tournament with a blistering .778 batting average.
The championship was particularly rewarding for Alpine. It was the first Alpine team to win the Majors Super Bowl title in a decade. A banner honoring the 2009 Alpine All Stars team will be on display at the Alpine Little League Opening Day ceremonies next Spring.
Bob Ramies co-coached the team with Ken Tinsley.