By Jackie Gerson | Special to the Almanac
The Lutticken's Little League team edged the Sharon Heights Shells 2-1 on June 11 to claim the Menlo Park city championship for the second straight year.
The game is an annual showdown between teams that finish first in their respective leagues. This year it was Lutticken's in the Alpine-West Menlo Little League and Sharon Heights Shells in the Menlo-Atherton Little League.
It was a scoreless pitcher's duel until the top of the fourth, when Lutticken's Tyler Flynn doubled and Tommy Eisenstat hit a home run, putting Lutticken's in the lead, 2-0.
The Shells came back with a run in the bottom of the sixth, when Sawyer Jones walked against Tommy Eisenstat. Tyler Flynn came in to pitch for the Lutticken's and Theron Bergeron walked, putting runners on first and second. When Jones attempted to steal third, the ball got away from the third baseman and Jones scored.
Tommy Eisenstat, who struck out 13, was the winning pitcher for Lutticken's.
"The pitchers were at the top of their game," Lutticken's head coach John Lopez said.
Despite that, Lutticken's assistant coach Susie Eisenstat said a key to the team's success was a focus on batting practice. "Usually for three-fourths of practice the boys would be hitting," she said.
The Shells kept it close and committed no errors in the field. Brady Young threw a complete game for the Shells and struck out seven.
"As a younger team with mostly 11-year-olds and only three 12-year-olds, we are generally smaller," Shells team manager Brian Roberts said. Despite this disadvantage, the team kept it close by focusing on its strengths "that we are fast and have good defense," he said.