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Chula Vista North nearly wins it all at Pony-14 super region Phillip Brents | Fri, Aug 10 2012 04:22 PM

Only one team at this year’s Pony-14 super region all-star championship tournament in Whittier advanced to West Zone play for a chance to compete for a berth in this weekend’s Pony World Series in Washington, Pa.

Coming down to the final two days of competition on July 29-30, three teams were still alive: Chula Vista North, Victoria Riverside and Long Beach.

Long Beach defeated CV North, 3-2, in a winners bracket game while Victoria advanced to the challenger bracket finale against the Chula Vistans after eliminating Fullerton 12-3.

Victoria won, 4-0, to end CV North’s season and looked to knock Long Beach from a berth in the zone finals after scoring an ensuing 3-2 win.

But Long Beach prevailed in the double-elimination championship game, defeating Victoria by a 4-1 score.

From the zone tournament, Long Beach then earned a berth in the 10-team Pony World Series, joining Bay County (Mich.), Johnstown (Pa.), Caguas (Puerto Rico), New Bedford (Mass.), Taipei (Taiwan), Paderborn (Germany), Washington (Pa.), Guasave (Sinaloa, Mexico) and Laredo (Texas).

The Pony World Series starts Friday, Aug. 10, and concludes on Aug. 18.

Chula Vista North finished 3-2 to place third at the 16-team super region tournament and 8-6 overall in all-star play this summer.

“It’s very pleasing, satisfying, practically every year one of our teams is up there,” Chula Vista North league president Saul Corona said. “It takes a team effort to get that far. We ran into a wall here and there, but we’re not crying.”

This year’s CVN Pony-14 all-star roster included Abraham Rodriguez, Daniel Nakano, Izzack Morales, Blake Flippen, Parker Flippen, Riley Regala, Nic Montoya, Jack Sandberg, Javier Plascencia, Mario Murillo, Alex Golembiewski, Michael Bloom, R.J. Popik, Karl Treziok and Darrcyk Williams.

Joe Valdez served as team manager while coaches included Berto Tejeda and Javier Moctezuma — all returning after leading CVN to the Pony-13 World Series title in 2010.

Play ball
Chula Vista South and Ramona joined CV North at the super region tournament.

Chula Vista North opened the super region tourney with three consecutive victories, defeating Whittier (15-1 on July 25), West Covina Red (3-2 on July 27) and West Covina Blue (11-1 on July 28).

West Covina Red was last year’s Pony-13 World Series champion.

Chula Vista South, which finished runner-up to Ramona at the San Diego regional, went 1-2 in super region play. CVS opened with an 8-2 win over Cypress on July 24 but bowed out with subsequent losses to West Covina Blue (4-3 on July 27) and Fullerton (6-4 on July 28).

San Diego champion Ramona went 2-2 at the super region tournament.

In the thrilling win over West Covina Red, Montoya drove in the winning run with a clutch two-out single in the top of the ninth inning. Rodriguez pitched the first seven innings.

Sandberg, Nakano and Flippen each swung big sticks in the win over West Covina Blue.

CV North opened all-star play at the San Diego South Section tournament hosted by La Jolla Pony. CVN captured its first two games by scores of 15-1 before dropping a 6-2 decision to the tourney hosts. The Chula Vista team then battled back to reach the championship game by pulling out a clutch 2-1 victory against Tecolote.

La Jolla, however, took the section title with a 5-2 win.

As the runner-up team, CV North then advanced to the regional championship tournament hosted by Lakeside Pony. CVN started this tournament strong as well with a 13-4 victory against Ramona and a 6-1 win against Lakeside.

CV North then dropped its next two games — 3-2 to Chula Vista South and 6-5 to Ramona.
Ramona topped CV South, 6-3 and 10-1, to win the SD region title.

The top three teams from the region tournament advanced to the super region championship.

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