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Eastlake Little League All-Stars start SoCal state championship tourney undefeated Phillip Brents | Sat, Jul 22 2017 01:38 AM

Eastlake Little League’s initial foray into this year’s Southern California Division III state championshp tournament has been an unqualified success after the opening two games. In fact, the league is batting a perfect 1.000.

In contests played at widely differing locations on Thursday, July 20, Eastlake’s 11U All-Stars defeated Section 10 champion Aliso Viejo, 14-1, in Upland while Eastlake’s 12U All-Stars topped Section 4 champion Rolling Hills, 7-2, in dramatic comeback fashion in Long Beach.

The Eastlake 10U All-Stars are scheduled to open divisional play on Saturday, July 22, with a 4 p.m. game against Section 8 champion Fontana Community at Palmdale Little League.


Road to Williamsport

Rolling Hills opened with a 2-0 lead. But a home run by Esteban Garcia tied the score, 2-2, in the fourth inning.

Mikey Rocha replaced Eastlake starting pitcher Hunter Stencil in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Nico Libed put Eastlake in front, 3-2, with a RBI single in the top of the fifth inning, driving in Elijah Cook. Garcia drove in another run on a force play to increase Eastlake’s lead to 4-2.

Eastlake would add three more insurance runs to claim the key tourney-opening victory.

Cook hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning to make the score 5-2 in favor of Eastlake.

Daniel Mora then tripled and scored on a wild pitch to increase the Section 7 champions’ lead to 6-2.

Rocha homered to make the final score 7-2. He was then all smiles after recording the final out in the bottom of the sixth inning as Eastlake stretched its unbeaten postseason record to 7-0.

Libed and Garcia were each credited with two RBI in the win; Rocha and Stencil each pitched three innings, with Rocha notching five strikeouts.

Eastlake advances to Sunday’s second round winners bracket game against Section 10 champion Santa Margarita, which topped Section 6 champion Encinitas, 10-7, on Friday. Game time is 2 p.m. at Long Beach Little League.

“It just feels great,” Libed told a KUSI-TV news crew following the win over Rolling Hills. “We came from behind. I knew our team could do it. It’s really special.

“We’re one through 14 all great players. We were all taking to each other, (telling each other) just to get on base, we needed runners a lot. We just needed to put the bat on the ball.”

Tough loss
Eastlake's 12U All-Stars were unable to stay in the winners bracket despite a valiant effort in a 9-8 loss to Section 10 champion Santa Margarita National in Sunday's winners bracket game.

Santa Margarita National, which topped Section 1 champion Goleta Valley, 6-2, in a first-round game on Wednesday and topped Section 6 champion Encinitas, 10-7, on Friday, took a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning to quickly put the Section 7 champions in a hole.

Eastlake rallied with three runs in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by a two-run home run by Isaiah Lane and a solo shot by Mikey Rocha, to just as quickly get back in the game but it was catch-up the rest of the way.

Chase Taylor hit a home run to trim the score to 6-4 but Santa Margarita led 6-5 through two innings. Eastlake made the score 8-6, though still trailing, when Chase Taylor drove in Elijah Cook. Rocha then slammed his second home run of the contest, a two-run shot, to tie the game 8-8 and send it into extra innings.

However, Eastlake could only hold Santa Margarita National scoreless for one-and-two-thirds innings before the Section 10 champions finally pushed across a run in the eighth inning to prevail and advance in the winners bracket.

Eastlake now faces a tougher journey to get to the West regional tournament in San Bernardino after dropping to the elimination bracket.

Eastlake will engage Section 2 champion Northridge City in its first elimination game on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Long Beach Little League. The winner advances to another elimination game on Thursday at the same site. Teams will vie in the elimination bracket final on Saturday for a berth in Saturday's championship game.

However, the elimination bracket winner will have to win two double-elimination games in the championship series to win the tournament and keep its dream alive to reach the hallowed grounds of the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa.

Eastlake manager Adam Villarreal believes his team still has a good chance of reaching that destination.

"We live to fight another day," Villarreal told a KUSI-TV news crew on site after the game. "We have known teams that have gone to Williamsport who have lost a game in section, have lost a game in the division tournament and maybe even lost a game in western region and still find a way to get it done. It's possible and that's what we believe."

Eastlake’s 10U All-Stars will take the field on Saturday in a game at 4 p.m. at Palmdale Little League.

For updates, visit the California District 42 website at www.eteamz.com/cad42



Eleven is heaven: Eastlake All-Stars roll to three wins in Division III tournament

The newly minted California Section 7 champions made a smashing debut in their opening game at the Division III tournament by banging out 13 hits and scoring their opponent by 13 runs.

Eastlake out-hit Aliso Viejo 13-2 and outscored the Section 10 champions 14-1.

The game was scoreless through the first inning before Eastlake started scoring runs in bunches to overwhelm the Orange County team.

Eastlake scored three runs in the top of the second inning, two runs in the top of the third inning and tacked on three more runs in the top of the fourth inning to take an 8-0 lead in the game.

Eastlake battered Aliso Viejo for six runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 14-1 lead and end the game after five innings due to the mercy rule.

Ivan Murillo led the Eastlake offense with three hits while Derreck Borruel led the team with three RBI.

Borruel and Noah Libed each registered two hits while Kain Cruz reached base twice on walks.

Murillo finished the game with two RBI while Rafa Perez drove in one run.

Libed recorded four strikeouts in three-and-two-thirds innings on the mound. He threw 10 first pitch strikes. Cruz pitched one-and-one-third innings and struck out two batters.

Eastlake improved to 2-0 in divisional play after holding on to best Section 8 champion Vineyard, 9-6, in a winners bracket contest on Saturday (July 22).

The teams combined for 18 this and 15 runs in the high scoring contest. Eastlake rapped out 13 hits to five by Vineyard. Each team committed two fielding errors.

Eastlake opened the game with a 2-0 lead but trailed, 3-2, after two innings. Eastlake regained the advantage on the scoreboard with two runs in the top of the third inning to go in front 4-3.

But Vineyard came back to score one run in the bottom of the inning to tie the teams 4-4 through three innings.

Eastlake broke open the game by plating five runs in the top of the fourth inning to lead 9-4.

But Vineyard scored one run in the bottom of the fourth inning and added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning to close the game to two runs.

Neither team scored in the sixth inning, leading to a final Eastlake victory.

Murillo led all players in the game with three hits while Matt Duran and Cruz each collected two hits. Duran, Tommy Del Villar and Johnny Huerta each drove in two runs to highlight the Eastlake attack.

Charlie Singleton pitched four innings and recorded 12 first pitch strikes. Borruel and Cruz each recorded two strikeouts in relief work.


Battle of San Diego County

The two representatives from San Diego County met in Sunday afternoon’s winners bracket contest. Eastlake out-hit Section 6 champion Encinitas 10 to 6 and outscored the North County squad 9-2 to advance to Tuesday’s winners bracket final against Section 1 champion Thousand Oaks.

Libed led the Section 7 champions, who improved to 9-0 in postseason play, with three hits and drove in a team-high five runs.

Borruel had two hits, collected three RBI and pitched five-and-one-third innings. He struck out two batters in the contest but remained on top of his game with 14 first pitch strikes.

Eastlake took control of the game by scoring three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Each team scored a run in the third inning to put Eastlake in front 4-1 on the scoreboard.

Encinitas narrowed the score to 4-2 with a run in the top of the fifth inning but Eastlake came back in the bottom of the frame with five runs of its own to put the game out of reach.

Eastlake did not commit an error in the game.



Eastlake 11U All-Stars advance to SoCal state championship game

Eastlake Little League's 11U All-Star team pushed its record to 10-0 in postseason play after defeating Thousand Oaks, 8-2, in Tuesday’s winners bracket final of the Southern California Division III state championship tournament at Upland Foothill Little League in Upland.

By virtue of the win, Eastlake advances to Thursday’s state championship game against an opponent to be determined. Section 1 champion Thousand Oaks and Section 3 champion Upland Foothill will play in Wednesday's challenger game to determine which team moves on to matc up against Eastlake in the tournament final.

The loser of Wednesday's challenger game finishes third in the tournament.

As the lone undefeated team remaining in the 10-team divisional field, Eastlake needs only one win in the double-elimination tournament to make history with a state championship title in this age division.

Should Eastlake drop Thursday’s championship contest, a double-elimination game will be played Friday, July 28, at 6:30 p.m. to determine the 2017 Southern California champion.

This is the farthest teams at this age level can progress. Eastlake can finish no worse than second in the tournament.

Noah Libed had two hits and pitched three-and-one-third innings to help lead Tuesday’s winning effort for Eastlake while teammate Derreck Borruel collected three RBI.

Kain Cruz pitched two-and-one-third innings and struck out three batters in his time on the mound.

Eastlake plated six runs in the bottom of the second inning to break a 1-1 tie. The defending California District 42 and Section 7 champions added one run in the bottom of the fourth inning to build a commanding 8-1 lead.

Thousand Oaks scored once in the top of the fifth to close out scoring in the game.

Eastlake finished the game with six hits and one error while holding Thousand Oaks to four hits.




Eastlake 11U All-Stars
Updated roster:

Manager: Mark Wells
Coaches: George Flores, Charlie Singleton

Players: Trevor Adame, Kain Cruz, Dereck Borruel, Tomas Del Villar, Adrian Flores, Johnny Huerta, Matthew Duran, Noah Libed, Ivan Murillo, Brody Wells, Charlie Singleton, Rafael Perez, Maxwell Radovan





Eastlake Little League 12U All-Stars tip Northridge City; stay on the trail to LLWS

The road to Williamsport, Pa., is starting to narrow for teams in the 12U All-Star Little League age bracket. Following Wednesday’s pair of elimination games at Long Beach Little League, just four of the 10 teams that started the Southern California Division III state championship tournament remain in contention. 

California District 42 and Section 7 champion Eastlake Little League is one of those four teams.

Eastlake, buffeted by a towering three-run home run by Hunter Stencil in the first inning, hung on to edge Section 2 champion Northridge City, 4-3, to advance to Thursday’s elimination bracket game against Section 5 champion Long Beach.

In Wednesday’s other elimination game involving a San Diego County team, Long Beach eliminated Section 6 champion Encinitas by a score of 9-6.

The two San Diego teams had hoped to match up on Thursday.

“It was very intense,” Eastlake’s Daniel Mora told a KUSI-TV news crew on site after Wednesday game in describing the team’s latest elimination game victory. “We were fighting through it. It was a close game. We need to take one game at a time to keep on the trail.”

Stencil’s blast cleared a very large tree located beyond the outfield fence to give Eastlake a quick 3-0 lead. Isaiah Lane later singled home Mora to put the Section 7 champions in front 4-2.

Eastlake managed to stave off any further significant damage by allowing just one run the rest of the way.

Stencil finished the game with three RBI while Mora logged three base hits and also struck out five batters in three-and-two-thirds innings on the hill.

The District 42 champions did not have to use any of their three big guns on the mound in the game: Stencil, Chase Taylor or Mikey Rocha. It is hoped that strong pitching can carry the team farther down the trail in its quest to eventually land in Williamsport. 

Haiden Sanchez started Wednesday’s game for Eastlake. Mora later came into the game in relief. Besides pitching well, Mora turned in a big game of his own at the plate. He finished one hit (a home run) shy of hitting for the cycle.

Eastlake must win on Thursday to advance to Saturday’s elimination bracket final to have a chance at gaining a berth in Sunday’s championship game.

Eastlake would then have to win the first game on Sunday to force a championship replay later that evening to cap the double-elimination tournament.

Section 10 champion Santa Margarita will take on Section 3 champion La Verne in Thursday’s winners bracket final to determine which team advances to Sunday’s division title contest and which team drops to Saturday’s elimination bracket final.

Encinitas scored runs in bunches in the opening stages of Wednesday’s elimination game but fell victim to an eight-run inning by Long Beach to bow out of the tournament.

Casey Sharp slammed a two-run double to get the North County squad going.

Encinitas’ Joe Burke told a KUSI-TV news crew it was “a tough battle” onward from the district tournament.

“We had to fight all the way through,” he said.

Eastlake improved its postseason record to 8-1 following Wednesday’s must-win victory.

Encinitas fell short in its run to Williamsport with a final 9-3 record.




Southern California Division III Tournaments
10U All-Star Division
Palmdale Little League
Friday, July 7
Fontana Community (Section 8) 5, Dos Pueblos (Section 1) 3
Yucaipa (Section 9) 4, Tustin Western (Section 5) 3

Saturday, July 22
Encino (Section 2) 7, La Verne (Section 3) 3
Santa Margarita (Section 10) 23, Allied Gardens (Section 6) 3
Fontana Community 11, Eastlake (Section 7) 10
Yucaipa (Section 9) 9, Manhattan Beach (Section 4) 1

Sunday, July 23
Winners bracket games: Encino 6, Fontana Community 2; Santa Margarita 10, Yucapia 8
Elimination games: Tustin Western 11, La Verne; Alied Gardens 14, Dos Pueblos 2

Monday, July 24
Elimination game: Eastlake 11, Tustin Western 1
Elimination game: Allied Gardens 11, Manhattan Beach 1

Tuesday, July 25
Elimination game: Eastlake 10, Yucapia Valley National 0
Elimination game: Fontana Community 4, Allied Gardens 1

Wednesday, July 26
Elimination game: Eastlake 13, Fontana Community 7
Winners bracket final: Santa Margarita 5, Encino 4

Thursday, July 27
Elimination bracket final: Eastlake 7, Encino, 5
(loser finishes third in the tournament)

Saturday, July 29
Championship game: Santa Margarita vs. Eastlake, 4 p.m.
Note: double-elimination game, if needed, on Sunday, July 30, at 4 p.m.


11U All-Star Division
Upland Foothills Little League
Thursday, July 20

Sherman Oakes (Section 2) 11, La Mirada (Section 5) 3
Eastlake (Section 7) 14, Aliso Viejo (Section 10) 1

Friday, July 21
Thousand Oakes (Section 1) 15, Rivera (Section 4) 7
Encinitas (Section 6) 11, Eastvale (Section 9) 0

Saturday, July 22
Elimination game: Eastlvale (Section 9) 9, Rivera (Section 4) 4 
Elimination game: Aliso Viejo (Section 10) 8, La Mirada (Section 5) 2
Winners bracket: Eastlake (Section 7) 9, Vineyard (Section 8) 6
Winners bracket: Upland Foothill (Section 3) 15, Sherman Oaks (Section 2) 1

Sunday, July 23
Elimination game: Sherman Oaks 15, Aliso Viejo 6
Elimination game: Vineyard 17, Eastvale 7
Winners bracket game: Eastlake 9, Encinitas 2
Winners bracket: Thousand Oaks 11, Upland Foothill 7

Monday, July 24
Elimination game: Encinitas 7, Sherman Oaks 5
Elimination game: Upland Foothill 5, Vineyard 3

Tuesday, July 25
Elimination game: Upland Foothill (Section 3) 10,
Encinitas (Section 6) 9
Winners bracket final: Eastlake (Section 7) 8, Thousand Oaks (Section 1) 2

Wednesday, July 26
Elimination bracket final: Upland Foothill (Section 3) 4,
Thousand Oaks (Section 1) 2 (loser finishes third in the tournament)

Thursday, July 27
Championship game: Eastlake (Section 7) 11, Upland Foothill (Section 3) 4
Note: Eastlake wins Southern California Division III state championship


12U All-Star Division
Long Beach Little League
Wednesday, July 19
Santa Margarita (Section 10) 6, Goleta Valley (Section 1), 2
Northridge City (Section 2) 10,
Orangecrest (Section 9) 3

Thursday, July 20
Eastlake (Section 7) 7, Rolling Hills (Section 4) 2
La Verne (Section 3) 5,
Southridge (Section 8) 2

Friday, July 21
Santa Margarita National (Section 10) 10,
Encinitas (Section 6) 7
Long Beach (Section 5) 11, Northridge City (Section 2) 6

Saturday, July 22
Elimination game: Goleta Valley 8, Southridge 5
Elimination game: Orangecrest 3, Roliing Hills 1

Sunday, July 23
Santa Margarita National (Section 10) 9, Eastlake (Section 7) 8 in 8 innings (winners bracket)
La Verne (Section 3) 12, Long Beach (Section 5) 3  (winners bracket)

Monday, July 24
Elimination game: Northridge City 7, Goleta Valley 3
Elimination game: Encinitas 17, Orangecrest 6

Wednesday, July 26
Elimination game: Eastlake 4, Northridge City 3
Elimination game: Long Beach 9, Encinitas 6

Thursday, July 27
Elimination game: Eastlake 19, Long Beach, 3 (4 innings)
Winners bracket final: Santa Margarita National 8, La Verne 7

Saturday, July 29
Elimination bracket final: Eastlake vs. La Verne, 4 p.m. (loser finishes third in the tournament)

Sunday, July 30
Championship game: Santa Margarita vs. Eastlake-La Verne winner, 2 p.m.
Note: Double-elimination game, if needed, on Sunday, July 30, 5 p.m.

Intermediate League 13U All-Stars

Friday, July 7
Luckie Waller (Section 7) 7, Bloomington (Section 8) 4

Sunday, July 9
Luckie Waller 7, Coast Little League (Section 1) 6 (winners bracket game)

Tuesday, July 11
Rancho Penasquitos National (Section 6) 3, Luckie Waller (Section 7) 0 (winners bracket final)

Wednesday, July 10
Holly Park (Section 4) 19, Luckie Waller (Section 7) 5 (elimination game)


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