By Rick Chandler
Palo Alto Online Sports
Menlo-Atherton's mercurial all-star campaign came to an end on Friday, just as shortstop Arnaud Laprais was starting to get warmed up.
"We had a good run; it was fun and I'm proud that we were able to get this far," said Laprais, who blasted a pair of home runs and had four RBI in the losers' bracket final of the District 52 11-12 year-old tournament at Ortega School in Pacifica.
Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to prevent M-A from losing to Hillsborough, 10-7.
Hillsborough goes on to meet Half Moon Bay in the championship game today (July 10) at 10 a.m. Half Moon Bay must be beaten twice, so a challenge game, if necessary, would be played Sunday at 1.
For awhile it looked like M-A might earn its first-ever berth in the title game, as Laprais' three-run homer gave his team a 4-1 lead in the second inning. And Jack Gray's solo shot in the fourth, combined with Reid Fratt's run-scoring double, gave M-A a 6-3 lead in the fourth.
But they couldn't hold on, as Hillsborough, the defending champion, scored two in the fourth and five in the fifth to wrestle it away.
Laprais' other homer was a solo blast in the sixth; his third homer of the tourney.
M-A's Andrew Daschbach was 4-for-4 and made a diving catch of a line drive at second base in the first inning.
"It was an amazing journey, what can you say?" said Daschbach, who was 6-for-7 with a double over his team's final two games. "We went down fighting."
M-A center fielder Mason Randall also made an impressive catch in the first. Kyle Bryan had a double in the third, and Holden Kardos singled and scored a run in the second.