The Twin Cities Little League 9-10 All-Stars had a reputation for being a fast-starting team. Their leadoff hitter, Josh Cohen, had led off three consecutive games with home runs.
But on Monday night in the District 3 semifinals, Novato North turned the tables on them.
Max Glasser led off the Novato North first inning with a double – off Cohen, coincidentally – to trigger a three-run inning that was all Matthew Lozovoy needed in beating Twin Cities 3-0 at Gallinas Field in Terra Linda.
The win vaults Novato North into Wednesday’s championship game against San Francisco National, which outlasted Mill Valley 9-8 in Monday’s other semifinal.
Novato North did all its scoring Monday in the first inning. After Glasser came around to score on two errors, Spencer Shifs belted a triple to the outfield fence, plating two teammates to make it 3-0.
Lozovoy took it from there. He allowed just two hits in a complete-game effort, throwing just 70 pitches. He struck out 10 and did not issue a walk.
“When balls were put into play,” Novato North coach Brian Moylan noted, “Matt had the confidence that his defense was going to make the play. And they delivered.”
The defense might have been great, but Lozovoy was even better.
“Matt showed us the difference between being a pitcher and just someone throwing pitches to a catcher,” Moylan gushed. “Matthew kept the strong-hitting Twin Cities batters off-balance by mixing up fastballs with off-speed pitches. He also hit all the locations called by catcher Connor Moylan. He pitches were up, then down, in, then out.
"The Twin Cities hitters were guessing what was coming next and only the first two batters of the game guessed right.”
Cohen and Marco Castillo got Twin Cities’ only hits. Castillo also reached on an error in the top of the sixth, but then was thrown out at second on a fielder’s choice.