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Lakeside alive in competitive NorCal State Championship

By: Staff report
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The games were close, the competition fierce, and Lakeside Little League’s Major all-star team was still alive after beating Aptos 6-5 on Monday night in the Northern California State Championship in Chico.

Lakeside opened with a 3-2 victory over Madera National in seven innings Saturday and lost to Red Bluff 5-4 on Sunday.

Lakeside was scheduled to play Madera National again Tuesday. A victory would put Lakeside into the losers’ bracket final at 7 p.m. today at Chico Eastside Little League. The championship game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday.

“It’s just been very, very tough,” Lakeside manager Steve Dailey said. “There is a path. A lot of things have to fall right, but there is a path. Our kids are having a ball, but man, it’s brutal.”

Darren Nelson hit a two-run homer in the first inning against Madera National, but Lakeside was shut down thereafter.

A leadoff homer in the sixth allowed Madera National to tie the score before Nelson came on in relief to strike out all six batters in the sixth and seventh.

Lakeside won it in the seventh on a walk, an error and two passed balls.

Against Red Bluff, Alex Dailey hit a three-run homer in the third to put Lakeside up 3-2. Lakeside scored again in the fourth, but Red Bluff scored three late runs without a hit to win.

Monday night’s victory was just as tight. Cole Jacobi hadn’t pitched in 16 tournament games, but he allowed Aptos just one run through four innings.

“Just pitched outstanding,” Dailey said.

Jacobi also hit a two-run homer that extended Lakeside’s lead to 5-1, but an Aptos home run tied it at 5.

Nelson entered in relief and struck out the side in the sixth. He struck out 10 of the 11 hitters he faced in the tournament through Monday.

Jacobi led off the sixth with a single. Following a walk, Chris Weber hit a game-winning single.