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This story was submitted by Gregory Siri, head coach of the Menlo Glass Dirt Devils.
The Menlo Glass Dirt Devils beat a tough Putnam Lexus Spartans squad 10-4 to win the Alpine-West Menlo Little League AAA Championship Game on Saturday, June 12, at Ford Field in Portola Valley.
The Dirt Devils will represent Alpine West Menlo Little League in the AAA City Championship Game against the Menlo-Atherton Little League AAA champions on Friday, June 18, at 3:45 p.m. at Burgess Field. That game will be followed by the Majors City Championship Game.
In the June 12 contest, the Spartans jumped out to an early lead with two unearned runs in the top of the first behind the starting pitching of William McGrouther. The Dirt Devils battled back, with a run in the bottom of the first to make it 2-1, and they took the lead for good at 5-2 with four runs in the bottom of the third.
The third-inning rally was keyed by walks to David Quezada and Jack Shepard, some aggressive base running by Shepard, and back-to-back-to-back line drive singles by Tony Siri, Connor Burns, and Harry Marshall.
The Dirt Devils and Spartans played each other tough all season, with three very exciting regular season games. Although the Spartans were held to four hits on Saturday, those included a long triple to left center to lead off the fourth by Chris Lobdell, who knocked a spectacular relay play loose on his slide, followed by a two-run homer by Jack Belton that rolled to the right field fence to pull the Spartans to within 5-4.
The Dirt Devils pulled away from there, however.
On offense, the Dirt Devils were led by Tony Siri's two runs scored on one-for-two hitting that included the sharp line drive to left center in the third and a walk, and Connor Burns' two RBIs on two-for-three hitting that included the single in the third and a hard-hit line drive double to center.
The Dirt Devils had a very balanced offense, with each of the 10 players reaching base and making a contribution. In fact, nine of the 10 scored at least one run.
They also sported an aggressive and effective running game, with each of the 10 players advancing at least one base on a steal, passed ball, or no contest, and no one caught stealing or thrown out.
As has been the case all season, perhaps the highlight for the Dirt Devils was their outstanding pitching. Starting pitcher Tony Siri earned the win, and closer Connor Burns earned the save. Each pitcher threw three strong innings, with each striking out seven batters.
The two pitchers were also backed by excellent defense by the entire team, including some pretty spectacular plays.
"It was truly a team effort, and one of our best all-around games of the season," said head coach Greg Siri. "We met our team goals of not only having a lot of fun, but of coming to play baseball, and to play it like a real baseball team. I couldn't be prouder of every one of our guys."
The Dirt Devils were the Alpine-West Menlo Little League AAA regular season champions with a 12-2-1 record, and were undefeated in the playoffs.
Their lineup is made up of Jack Shepard (1B/OF), Colin Scioscia (SS/OF/P), Tony Siri (SS/P), Brett McBride (C/2B/P), Connor Burns (C/OF/P), Kyle Schott (1B/OF), Ian Loftis (3B/OF), Joseph Miller (2B/OF), Harry Marshall (C/OF/P), Johnny Eisenstat (2B/OF/P), Connor Kennedy (2B/OF), Ben Eisenstat (3B/OF) and David Quezada (1B/2B/OF). They are led by Head Coach Greg Siri and Assistant Coaches Kip Shepard, Frank Scioscia, and Martin McBride.