California District 42 Little League qualified four teams for this week’s Southern California divisional championship tournament.
The SoCal divisionals were the last stop for all age levels expect the 12U Division, which charts an ending at the iconic Little League World Series.
Park View Little League contributed three of the four teams from District 42: 10U, 11U and Junior Division (14U).
Eastlake Little League’s 12U all-stars, meanwhile, remained on the road to Williamsport.
All four local teams qualified for the Southern California championship tournament after winning their respective divisions at the preceding California Section 7 championship events.
The Southern California divisional includes all 10 sections in double-elimination play.
California District 42 Little League administrator Ernie Lucero said the four teams representing the district in divisional play were off to a “great start.”
“The Eastlake 12s are in a very positive position to advance to the championship game, which is one step away from playing in the West Region tournament in San Bernardino,” Lucero said. “The Parkview 11s team is very close to also playing in the championship game. The winner in that age group will be named Southern California champion.”
Only the 12U division advances beyond the state level this year. All other divisions end their seasons at the state level as Southern California division champions.
“I’m very proud of the managers and coaches of the Eastlake 12s and Parkview 11s teams,” Lucero pointed out. “Eastlake manager Randy Whitney and his coaches Josh Aguirre and Mar Reyes have a strong connection with the members of the team. All three team leaders have a positive-style approach to coaching, enabling the kids to play to their fullest potential. It’s good to see parents, relatives and friends wholeheartedly support this team. I see that the players respond well to the cheering, as it shows in their performance.
“In regard to the Parkview leadership, I have known manager Dennis Diaz and his coaches Julio Alcala and Carlos Medina for a while. I always knew they would have their teams ready to play. The kids believe in them.
“It’s interesting to note that given District 42’s track record in playoff and championship games in 2009, 2013 and other years, teams in other Southern California districts now know that they’re going to be in a challenging and intense game when facing any of our teams.
“What makes these tournaments in Little League unique is that kids who represent their league, such as Parkview and Eastlake, are from the same neighborhood or go to the same school. Their friendship and bond manifest when they gather to play a game, creating a real sense of community among their spectating parents, friends, and relatives. I would be remiss if I did not mention all of our volunteers, such as our amazing umpires and tournament coordinators, who generously do their part because they truly believe in little league and the benefits it brings to a community.”
Imperial Beach Little League is hosting the 10U divisional state tournament.
Park View lost its opener, 6-0, to El Segundo (District 36) on Sunday but rebounded to defeat Fontana Community Little League (District 71), 13-4, in Tuesday’s elimination bracket game.
Park View advanced to Thursday’s elimination bracket game against Scripps Ranch (District 32).
The tournament will crown its champion Sunday at 11 a.m. If necessary, a double-elimination game will be played Monday at 6:30 p.m.
East Hills (District 56) and El Segundo will meet each other in Friday’s winners bracket final while four remaining games will determine the elimination bracket survivor.
Two elimination games were scheduled to take place on Thursday, followed by additional elimination games on Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (11 a.m.).
In opening round games last Saturday, East Hills defeated Fontana Community Little League, 1-2, while El Segundo edged Sherman Oaks (District 40), 5-4.
In games on Sunday, Scripps Ranch shut out Claremont (District 20), 22-0, while East Hills blanked Santa Margarita (District 68), 8-0, and Orcutt National (District 65) defeated Temecula (District 28), 13-0, in addition to Park View’s loss to El Segundo.
Four teams remained in the winners bracket for Wednesday’s pair of contests. Scripps Ranch, East Hills, El Segundo and Orcutt National.
The first elimination games took place on Monday as Sherman Oaks (District 40) defeated Claremont (District 20), 8-3, and Fontana Community outlasted Temecula (District 28), 14-13.
That set up another pair of elimination games on Tuesday: Sherman Oaks-Santa Margarita (District 68) and Park View-Fontana Community.
In Wednesday’s semifinals, East Hills edged Scripps Ranch, 6-4, while El Segundo remained undefeated with a 5-0 win over Orcutt National.
Park View carried a 7-1 record into Thursday’s elimination game against Scripps Ranch. The District 42 champions dropped an 11-8 decision to end all-star summer play with an overall 7-2 record.
Scirpps Ranch advances to meet Sherman Oaks in an elimination game on Friday at 6 p.m. East Hills and El Segundo will battle at 6:30 p.m. for the right to secure a berth in the championship game.
Aliso Viejo Little League is hosting this year’s 11U SoCal divisional tournament.
Park View defeated Tustin Western, 8-5, in last Saturday’s opener to advance to Tuesday’s winners bracket game against Encinitas Little League (District 31), which defeated Aliso Viejo (District 55), 2-1, on Sunday.
Park View’s offensive leaders in the win over Tustin Western included Emilio Diaz (two-RBI double) and Noah Medina (single, double, RBI and run scored).
Park View went on the offensive in Tuesday’s game, winning 12-9 to advance to Thursday’s winners bracket final against West Los Angeles (District 25).
Partk View (9-0) defeated West Los Angeles, 4-3, to advance to Saturday’s championship game (1 p.m.) while West Los Angeles must play an extra game on Friday (6:30 p.m.) to keep its championship hopes alive.
The 14U divisional state tournament is taking place at Santa Anita Little League.
Park View made a splash in its first game last Saturday as Aidan Galacia hit a walk-off grand slam in a 10-6 extra-inning victory against North Mission Viejo (District 68).
But the District 42 representatives could not duplicate the same heroics in their next game on Monday night in falling, 4-2, to Conejo Valley (District 13).
Park View loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings but could not push any runs across. In a frustrating ending to the game, Park View loaded the bases in the seventh inning with none out but stranded all three runners as Cornjeo Valley celebrated the win on a final fly-out to right center field.
The 10-team tournament also includes representatives from La Mirada (District 29), Claremont (District 20), Santa Monica (District 25), Eastvale (District 72), Santa Anita (District 17), Hesperia National (District 49) and Solana Beach (District 31).
North Mission Viejo opened tourney play last Friday with a 6-5 win over Claremont while Santa Monica defeated Eastvale, 8-1. In games last Saturday, Conejo Valley topped La Mirada, 15-2, while Santa Anita blasted Santa Monica, 15-4, and Solana Beach ripped Hesperia National, 14-3, in addition to Park View’s win over North Mission Viejo.
In Monday’s other winners bracket game, Santa Anita defeated Solana Beach, 11-6, to set up Wednesday’s winners bracket final against Conjeo Valley.
Park view dropped to Wednesday’s elimination bracket game against Claremont, losing 13-0 to end its season with a 6-3 overall record.
Eastlake Little League 12U all-stars extend summer tournament record to 11-0
A team from California District 42 Little League has participated in the Southern California divisional championship tournament — emblematic of the Southern California state championship — every year since 2015.
This year’s 12U divisional tournament is being hosted by Fountain Valley Little League.
Eastlake Little League is representing District 42 this year as the newly crowned Section 7 champion.
Eastlake won its opening two games at the divisional tournament — 6-4 over Torrance Little League last Saturday and 8-5 over Claremont Little League on Sunday — to advance to Tuesday’s winners bracket game against Villa Park Little League.
The District 42 champions improved their all-star record to 8-0 as Luis de Leon slammed a three-run home run, Myles Reyes hit a two-run double and Xachito MacFarland knocked in a run with a double in the win over Torrance.
MacFarland came into the game to get the final out to diffuse a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning.
Eastlake picked up its ninth consecutive all-star win on Sunday. MacFarland started and struck out eight batters in three innings. He left the game in the fourth inning after allowing just one run.
Eastlake scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Liam Lee and MacFarland both hit RBI-singles while Ethan Dang brought in one run with a sacrifice fly.
Eastlake carried a 5-2 lead into the final inning but had trouble closing out the game, which hadn’t been a real problem in its two previous tournaments.
Claremont tied the game, 5-5, on a dramatic three-run home run by Brady Bickham with two outs in the final frame.
But Eastlake had the final at-bat and produced an even more dramatic ending for its fans.
MacFarland started off the bottom of the sixth inning with a walk and Dang followed with his second hit of the game to put two runners on base. Nico Sanchez kept the District 42 champions undefeated in all-star play — and on the path to Williamsport — by cranking a pitch for a three-run walk-off home run winner.
Eastlake, hanging a perfect 10-0 record, advanced to Tuesday’s winner game having outscored opponents 77-12.
Make that 85-16 after topping Villa Park, 8-4. to advance to Thursday’s winners bracket final. against District 33/Section 6 champion San Carlos.
Eastlake won the battle of San Diego County teams, 5-3, to advances to Saturday’s championship game while the loser dropped San Carlos to Friday’s elimination bracket final (6 p.m.).
Saturday’s championship game is scheduled at 1 p.m. If necessary, a double-elimination game will take place Sunday at 1 p.m.
The division champion advances to the Little League World Series West Region tournament Aug. 8-14 in San Bernardino.
The pressure is starting to mount.
A District 42 champion has won the last two Southern California divisional tournaments.
Park View Little League won the 2018 SoCal divisional banner to advance to the LLWS west regional, as did Sweetwater Valley Little League in 2019.
Eastlake won the SoCal divisional title in 2013 en route to its milestone Little League World Series appearance when it captured the United States division championship.
Sweetwater Valley advanced to the 2015 Little League World Series while Park View Little League advanced to the 2016 LLWS.
Park View ran the table in 2009 to win the league’s first Little League World Series.
Photos by Jon Bigornia