Mill Valley Little League’s Super Saturday lived up to its billing.
The Majors Tigers rode a sensational performance from pitcher Ryan Burns to capture the City Championship with a 3-0 win over the Cubs, ending the 8-seed Cubs’ Cinderella run to the title game. And on the Minors diamond, Cole Kramlich stunned an overflow crowd with a two-out, two-strike, two-run home run in the top of the 6th inning to lift the 3-seed Nationals to a thrilling 3-2 win over the top-seed Giants.
Tigers 3, Cubs 0 — The Cubs started the game with consecutive hits, but then Ryan Burns was summoned to the mound and electrified the crowd by striking out the next three hitters. He didn’t stop until his overpowering fastball fanned 18 Cubs. Burns wasn’t done. At the plate, he knocked two hits and scored two of the Tigers’ three runs. Ian Murdoch had two hits for the Tigers as well, and scored the team’s other run. For the Cubs, Henry Simpson pitched beautifully, striking out 11 Tigers and only allowing two earned runs.
Red Sox 5, Reds 4 — An eight-inning thriller for the consolation bracket Zephyr Cup went to the Red Sox, who received sterling pitching from Wesley Wihlborg. Wihlborg allowed one run over 6 and 1/3 innings, and collected three hits and three RBIs. Benji Dawes made a critical catch in right field to save the game in the seventh inning, and the Red Sox withstood a late charge from the Reds’ Kolby Lieman who homered in the bottom of the 8th.
Nationals 3, Giants 2 — A brilliant pitcher’s duel in the City Championship came down to the last strike, when Kramlich, who led the Minors with five home runs, picked an unforgettable time to hit his 5th dinger of the season. The Giants were one strike away when Kramlich lined his go-ahead home run over the left field fence, into a crowd of fans hanging over the rails.
Kramlich’s heroics overshadowed excellent pitching by the Giants’ Hank Murray, who struck out eight in three innings, allowing only one run. His brother, Shade Murray, struck out seven in three innings. For the Nats, closer Dara Zolfaghari’s three shutout innings proved to be key, and starter Colt Crum Usich fanned seven in three innings. Dylan Whitmore of the Nationals hit a double and scored two runs.
KC Monarchs 4, Tigers 2 — In the La Ginestra Cup consolation championship, Monarchs catcher Jack Purchase lined a two-run, go-ahead double off the fence in the bottom of the 5th to lift the Monarchs. Lucas DiPippa threw three shutout innings of critical relief for the Monarchs, while Scott Olinger finished up a standout season with three hits, including a triple. For the Tigers, starting pitcher Lars Jackson surrendered only one run in three innings.
9s ALL STARS
Mill Valley 11, Novato North 8 — Mill Valley rallied for five runs in the sixth inning on June 12 at Boyle Park to even their pool play record at 1-1 heading into the semifinals. Trey Sasso went 4-for-4 with two doubles, Will Ostrander knocked three hits, drove in four runs and scored three runs, and Brayden Clifford had two hits, including a triple, and three RBIs.
San Rafael 6, Mill Valley 5 — The 9-year-old All-Stars started their campaign with a tight loss, despite rallying for three runs in the bottom of the 6th. Pitcher J.T. Cochrane threw five innings of three-run ball for the 9s, and Will Ostrander had two hits.
10s ALL STARS
The following 10-year-olds are the All-Star hat recipients for 2018: Hank Ballard, Gus Beyer, Hudson Boose, Colin Cann, Colt Crum Usich, Will Gensler, Gus Grumet, Hamer Haun, Lars Jackson, Andrew Martini, Cooper Mitchell, Declan Murphy, Hank Murray, Scott Olinger, Henry Pearson, Grayson Roberts, Marko Sunderman, Timo Ural, Dylan Whitmore, Dara Zolfaghari.
11s ALL STARS
The following 11-year-olds are the All-Star hat recipients for 2018: Felix Adam, Hugo Barberie, Bennett Dammann, Elliot Dasovich, Tito Fierstein, Finn Goulet, Reed Hanna, Cooper Hatch, Farhan Khaliq-Baporia, Cooper Kift, Cole Kramlich, Shade Murray, Fiver Press, Rex Rutchik, Ryan Simon, Eli Solem, Andrew Sternfels, Henry Stoll, Jackson Van Til.
12s ALL STARS
The following 12-year-olds are the All-Star hat recipients for 2018: Will Basnight, Holden Bougie, James Bonneau, Ryan Burns, Tyler Buxton, Kaiden Dossa, Miles Gensler, Jack Hanna, Charlie Horowitz, Zane Kiger, Brendan King, Bryn Kramlich, Kolby Lieman, Gage McKay, Jack Phibbs, Henry Simpson, Jake Son, Owen Swenson, Wesley Wihlborg, Braden Young.