The long trek down the road to South Williamsport and the 2013 Little League World Series is a little shorter for Eastlake Little League’s 11/12-year-old all-star team after capturing this year’s California District 42 championship title.
Eastlake completed a 4-0 sweep after defeating rival Sweetwater Valley, 8-0, in Monday’s championship game at the Sweetwater Valley Little League complex.
It was a dominating performance: Eastlake out-scored its four opponents 46-4 to claim this year’s district title.
Eastlake manager Rick Tibbett said his team remains focused on unfinished business at the next level.
“The kids weren’t overly excited because they know what their plan is — winning the section championship,” Tibbett said. “The last two years we’ve knocked on the door.”
Eastlake proved it has the pitching and firepower to possibly kick the door wide open this year.
The District 42 champions open Section 7 play Saturday against District 66 champion Twin Hills (3 p.m. at Spring Valley Little League). Also entered in the four-team tournament are District 41 champion Rancho San Diego and District 22 champion Brawley.
The section championship game is Tuesday, July 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Spring Valley Little League.
Nick Mora hurled a complete game in Monday’s win. He also hit a home run to help his own cause at the plate.
Mora also picked up the victory in Eastlake’s second tourney win, a lopsided 13-2 decision against Imperial Beach on July 1.
Grant Holman, Ricky Tibbett and Charly Peterson all took turns on the mound in last Saturday’s 15-1 win over Sweetwater Valley.
Sweetwater Valley eliminated Chula Vista National, 6-3, in Sunday’s challenger bracket final to draw a championship rematch against Eastlake.
Luv ya blue
It was a banner year for Eastlake Little League in more ways than one. The league placed teams in four division championship games, winning both the 9/10 and 11/12 divisions and finishing runner-up in both the 10/11 and Junior divisions.
It is believed to be the first time that Eastlake Little League had advanced teams to championship games in four divisions. Eastlake placed teams in all three divisions at the district’s preceding Tournament of Champions finals.
In other district all-star finals:
Eastlake defeated Park View, 10-1, to capture the 9/10 Division on Monday.
Sweetwater Valley topped Eastlake, 9-7, on Tuesday to win the 10/11 Division title while Luckie Waller captured the Junior Division championship with a 12-2 victory against Eastlake on Monday.
All four District 42 champions now head into Section 7 play that begins this weekend. Luckie Waller Little League will host the Junior Division section finals.
Section championship games are scheduled Tuesday, July 16, in the 9/10, 11/12 and Junior divisions and on Wednesday, July 17 in the 10/11 Division.
•Eastlake’s 9/10 district champions will open play Saturday at 6:30 p.m. against District 66 champion Lemon Grove at West Hills Little League.
•Sweetwater Valley’s 10/11 district champions will open play Saturday at 7 p.m. against District 41 champion Alpine American at Brawley Little League.
•Luckie Walker will enjoy the home field advantage when it opens play Saturday at 9:30 a.m. against District 66 champion Spring Valley.
Elijah Christensen hit a two-run home run and also stroked an RBI-double to help guide Eastlake’s offensive fortunes in Monday’s 9/10 title game.
Eastlake’s Noah Lane and Marcelo Mayer each had two hits in Monday’s championship game.
Eastlake made it to the district final after Quinn Roelofs’ dramatic walk-off home run to edge Sweetwater Valley, 8-7, in the team’s previous game on Saturday.
Park View defeated Sweetwater Valley, 15-9, on Sunday to win the challenger bracket final and advance to Monday’s championship tilt.
“Our pitching was very good,” Eastlake manager Enrique Mayer said. “We kept very good-hitting teams to few runs. Park View has a very good team and they scored five runs against us in two games. We also got some clutch hitting.”
Luckie Waller also raised championship banners in the new Intermediate League and Senior League divisions to continue a winning tradition in the district’s older age divisions.
“It’s been with great honor to be able to have a team from the Junior Division to win a title for the last four years,” Luckie Waller Little League President Steve Loa said. “The seniors have also done well the last four years as well, but only have had the opportunity to play district all-stars for two of those four. It seems that teams in this division have been declining, but we remain (in existence) to have continued success with returning players for this age group.”
•Complete brackets can be viewed at www.eteamz.com/cad42
District 42 Little League Parade of Champions
9/10 Division Champions
Eastlake Little League
Players: Quinn Roelofs, Angel Casanova, Noah Lane, Marcelo Mayer, Josh Whipple, Alex Gabaldon, Benji Maldonado, Hunter Lewis, Kieran Archer, Aiden Calvert, Cade Birchmier, Elijah Christensen, Brandon Mora
Manager: Enrique Mayer
10/11 Division Champions
Sweetwater Valley Little League
Players: Isaac Amaya, Felix Ikeda, Benjamin Kettlehake, Wyatt Lannom, Sabino Muro, Eric Nakano, Kaden Nichols, Eric Parker, Hayden Pritchard, Jake Rose, Adrian Sanchez, Tyler Sherard
Manager: John Rose
11/12 Division Champions
Eastlake Little League
Players: Grant Holman, Jake Espinoza, Micah Wiggs, Michael Gaines, Kevin Bateman, Rennard Williams, Dominic Haley, Charly Peterson, Giancarlo Cortez, Nick Mora, Patrick Archer, Ricky Tibbett
Manager: Rick Tibbett
Junior Division Champions
Luckie Waller Little League
Players: Jovan Bayless, Jose Antonio Corona, Daniel Corral, Phillip Devon,Raymond Hallmen, Reyes Murillo, Daniel Ochoa, Eddie Orendain, Frankie Palicki, Michael Quintana-Roo, Rene Rios, Donnie Sanchez, Richard Tovar
Manager: Gerardo Quintana-Roo. Coaches: Matt Ochoa, John Lynch
Senior Division Champions
Luckie Waller Little League
Players: Jimmy Bolanos, Jesus Estrada, Abel Lazacano, Brandon Lopez, Brandon Lugo, Carlo Mancillas, Adrian Olivares, Victor Ramirez, Emilio Razo, Abraham Rodriguez, Gilbert Suarez, Brandon Teichman, David Tovar, Abraham Villafana
Manager: Manuel Santiago. Coaches: Rafael Olivares, Angel Mancillas
Section 7 Intermediate League
Monday, July 1
Jamul 9, Luckie Waller 7
Tuesday, July 2
Jamul 5, Luckie Waller (District 42) 3
Note: Jamul (District 41) wins Section 7 championship, advances to Sub-Division III tournament at District 24 (Riverside)
Luckie Waller roster: Christian Alcala, Fidel Alvarez, Aleck Avalos, Robert Avelino, Richard Corpus, Jose Cuevas, Ronald Long, Josue Mireles, Omar Peralta, Jesus Rodriguez. Manager: Omar Peralta. Coaches: Richard Corpus, Jesus Avalos