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This story was submitted by Coach Paul Gray of the Bulls.
The Bulls defeated the Scappers, 14-1, on June 7 to secure the 2009 Menlo-Atherton Little League AAA championship at Tom Harrison Field in Menlo Park.
The evenly matched teams entered the double-elimination playoff tournament as the No. 1 seed Bulls and the No. 3 seed Scrappers. The Bulls narrowly edged the Scrappers in both of their regular season match-ups, 10-9 and 17-14.
Leading up to the championship game, the teams had met twice in the tournament. The Scrappers captured the winner's bracket in an impressive 14-9 victory on June 2. After clawing their way through the loser's bracket, the Bulls prevailed 14-9 against the Scrappers on June 6, to force a do-or-die finale.
In the championship game, the Bulls jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning. Evan King, pitching for the Scrappers, settled down and pitched strong in the second and third innings. Kris Liang, for the Bulls, was equally impressive.
Each team eked out a single run in the third and the score remained 5-1 until the top of the sixth. Walks and timely hitting enabled the Bulls to break open the game with 9 runs. Pitcher Ryu Frank closed out the bottom of the inning without allowing a run, giving the Bulls the victory.
For the Bulls, Frank and Kris Liang combined to allow just one run, and were backed by defensive plays from Ian Rosenfeld at catcher, Josh Olson on a line drive at third, and John-Paul Gray on a hustle foul-ball catch at first.
Offensive stars for the Bulls were Griffin Kardos (3 hits, 4 RBIs, and 2 runs scored), John Crevelt (2 hits, 2 RBIs, 1 run), Ryu Frank (2 hits, 1 RBI, 1 run), Johnny Hamren (1 hit, 2 RBIs, 1 run), and Josh Olson (2 RBIs, 2 runs).
For the Scrappers, King and Larson pitched well early, but ran out of pitches, giving way to less experienced pitchers. Defensively Marco Papadoyannis had several throw-outs from his backstop position and Evan King made a bang-bang catch on a screaming line drive in the sixth.
"These two teams epitomize Little League baseball," said Bulls Coach John Crevelt. "It is a major achievement to win two games in one weekend against such a talented Scrappers' team and coaching staff.