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District 42 Little League all-star tournament opens with strikeout frenzy by Eastlake pitcher Phillip Brents | Fri, Jul 05 2013 02:56 PM

It might be an understatement to refer to Eastlake pitcher Grant Holman as a “man among boys.”

At 6 feet, 2 inches tall, Holman towers over most of his teammates on Eastlake Little League’s 11/12-year-old Major Division all-star team.

He definitely towered over the opposition in last Saturday’s District 42 all-star tournament opener against visiting Chula Vista National.

Holman struck out 12 batters and allowed just two hits in Eastlake’s dominating 10-1 victory.

The game went six innings.

What Holman started on the mound, his teammates finished at the plate by blasting four home runs in the third inning and five overall in the game.

Micah Pietila-Wiggs paced Eastlake’s slugfest with two home runs. Jake Espinoza, Nick Mora and Giancarlo Cortez also hit home runs.

The core of this year’s Eastlake team — 10 of 12 players — is returning after winning last year’s District 42 Minor Division district championship.

Eastlake is one win away from earning a berth in this year’s Major Division championship game after defeating visiting Imperial Beach, 13-2, on Monday.

 Eastlake will face Sweetwater Valley — 13-4 winners over Park View on Monday — in Saturday’s Major Division semifinal contest. Game time is 10:15 a.m. at Sweetwater Valley Little League.

The division championship game is Monday, July 8, at 5:30 p.m., at SVLL.

The loser of Saturday’s semifinal game drops to the challenger bracket final Sunday at 10 a.m., also at SVLL.

Eastlake manager Ric Tibbett said team chemistry may be even stronger on this year’s Eastlake Major Division all-star team than on last year’s district champion Minor Division squad.

Certainly, the results of the team’s opening two games might suggest that.

“Our strength is that we’ve been playing together and we’re doing real well (because of that),” Tibbett said. “The maturity level has significantly improved. The kids are stronger and faster.

“Our power-hitting has come along. Anyone on our team is capable of hitting a home run at any time.

“Besides Grant, we have three other pitchers who are capable of getting the job done on the mound.”

Rounding out the team’s roster are Michael Gaines, Kevin Bateman, Rennard Williams, Dominic Haley, Charly Peterson, Patrick Archer and Ricky Tibbett.

TOC finals

The district’s annual Tournament of Champions wrapped up with final games June 27 at Imperial Beach Little League.

Sweetwater Valley rallied from a 2-0 deficit with 11 unanswered runs to defeat Eastlake, 11-2, to win the 7/8 Division.

Eastlake topped Sweetwater Valley, 7-3, to capture the 9/10 Division title while Chula Vista National won an exciting back-and-forth battle against Eastlake by a score of 9-8 in the 11/12 Division final.

Sweetwater Valley, which was comprised of 11 8-year-olds and two 7-year-olds, outscored its four opponents 40-11 in the tournament.

“The kids practiced hard and did exactly what they practiced throughout the tournament,” SVLL manager Ray Gobiel said.

Eastlake Little League President Ray Diaz said it was the first time in his memory that the league had qualified teams for all three championship games.

Championship rosters
Sweetwater Valley’s (7/8 Division):
Ty Besker, Cole Blackinton, Jordan Blondin, Sean Cannon, Nicolas Fahme, Trevor Gobeil, Glen Huggins, Nico Libed, Diego Magallon, Adren Parker, Kasey Regala, Hunter Stencil, Jayson Smith

Eastlake (9/10 Division):
Kai Staterstrom, Tony Davidson, Hannah Slike, Brandon Canaris, Edgar Salazar, Garrett Beckhelm, Isaiah Hinojosa, Thomas Crandall, Masen Reyes, Jonathan Marquez, Jacob Alo, Chase Trinidad

Chula Vista National (11/12 Division): not available.

More information: www.eteamz.com/cad42

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