Park View marches on to Little League World Series West Region showcase tournament

GREEN MONSTERS RALLY TO TOP HUNTINGTON VALLEY, 5-2, TO CLAIM SOCAL DIVISION TITLE

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Park View Little League's 12U all-star team celebrated its 11th consecutive win by capturing the Southern California Division III championship banner. Photo by Jon Bigornia

The Park View Little League 12U all-star team is headed to TV Land – aka the Little League World Series West Region tournament in San Bernardino.

The Green Monsters took that giant step by defeating Section 10 champion Huntington Valley Little League, 5-2, in Saturday’s Southern California Division III championship game at Aliso Viejo Little League’s Woodfield Park.

As the only undefeated team remaining in what was once a 10-team bracket, Section 7 champion Park View only needed to win one more game to advance. If looked as if they might need an extra game to accomplish that after Huntington Valley took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning on a pair of home runs.

Though trailing 2-1 for a chunk of the game, Park View (11-0) turned in a big fourth inning with a four-run rally to jump in front, 5-2, and managed to hold on from there to become the sixth team from South County’s California District 42 since 1982 — and the third team from the league — to qualify for the elite gathering in San Bernardino.

Park View Little League President Johnny Fuentes, who was along for the Green Machine’s wild ride to South Williamsport in 2016, admits he is “very excited for the boys.”

“They are playing great baseball and it’s truly been a team effort that has gotten us to the Western Region tournament,” the league president said. “Everyone has contributed in their own special way to this point. The division tournament really brought out the best in the boys, as the competition was at a high level in Aliso Viejo.

“In the end the boys prevailed with great pitching, defense and some timely hitting. We will need to do more of the same in the battle for the Western Region banner. I am very proud of our boys and proud to be part of Park View Little League and hope everyone in Chula Vista can come out to San Bernardino and cheer on these boys, as it will take a lot of heart and determination to get through the next level of competition.”

That next level of competition, of course, is the Little League World Series — a place Park View has become quite familiar with since winning an international championship in 2009.

Park View players celebrate final out in 5-2 win over Huntington Valley to punch their ticket to next week’s Little League World Series West region tournament in San Bernardino. Photo by Jon Bigornia
Park View players parade the California Section 7 championship banner around the field at Chula Vista American Little League. Photo by Phillip Brents

State champions
California is divided into two distinct playing circuits for qualification to the LLWS West Region tournament — Southern California and Northern California.

Winning either championship tournament is emblematic of winning a state championship.
Park View took the shortest course to winning this year’s Southern California title — four consecutive wins.

Each team had four hits in the championship game while Park View made two errors.
Michael Rodriguez staked the District 42 champions to an early 1-0 lead in last Saturday’s title game with a home run in the bottom of the second inning.

However, the lead did not last long as Tony Martinez and Everson Gage hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the third inning to put Huntington Valley ahead, 2-1, on the scoreboard.

Martinez, who tied the game 1-1 with a home run to ignite Huntington Valley’s go-ahead rally, pitched five innings, throwing 14 first-pitch strikes and finishing the game with six strikeouts.

But the Section 10 champions were unable to withstand one big inning by Park View.

Joseph Anderson, who led all players in the game with two RBI, shot a double into right field with the bases loaded to put the Section 7 champions ahead 3-2. Conner Alonzo (single) and Kainoa Baptista (sacrifice fly) each followed with RBIs to increase Park View’s lead to three runs.

Anderson said after the game he was just looking for a pitch “to drive,” and obviously got one at a very timely moment.

Park View teammates welcome Michael Rodriguez to the plate after hitting game-breaking solo home run in the bottom of the second inning. Photo by Jon Bigornia

Rodriguez started the game for Park View and pitched three innings, allowing two runs.
Alonzo entered the game in the top of the fourth inning and pitched the final three frames to preserve the win.

Rodriguez and Alonzo each finished the game with three strikeouts. Rodriguez threw six first-pitch strikes while Alonzo finished threw five first-pitch strikes.

Alonzo stuck out Huntington Valley’s Wyatt Thomas to end the game — and start the celebration for the newly crowned division champions.

In post-game interviews, players spoke about playing to back each other up, playing for their teammates.

Joseph Anderson’s bases-clearing double in the bottom of the fourth inning helped provide Park View Little League’s 12U all-star with its winning margin over Section 10 champion Huntington Valley in Southern California Division III championship game. Photos by Jon Bigornia

Wild West
The 41st Western Regional tournament is scheduled Aug. 5-11. The six-team tournament will feature state champions from Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii, Southern California and Northern California participating in a week-long 10-game modified double-elimination format.

Park View, as the Southern California representative, will meet Northern California champion Tri-City Little League (Rocklin) in Sunday’s opening round at Al Houghton Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the 14,500-seat complex.

A viewing party for Sunday’s opening game in San Bernardino is planned at the Buffalo Wild Wings location on Broadway in Chula Vista.

Tri-City Little League will represent Northern California after defeating Petaluma National by scores of 4-3 and 7-0 to capture its divisional series in double-elimination fashion.

Prior to the all-Golden State matchup, Hawaii (Honolulu Little League) will meet Arizona (Tucson’s Sunnyside Little League) at 9 a.m. to kick off the tournament.

Sunnyside (12-0) defeated Cactus Foothills South, 9-2, on the strength of five home runs Friday to win the Arizona state championship.

All games in the tournament will be played at Al Houghton Stadium, located at 6707 Little League Drive in San Bernardino.

Games continue Monday and Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. PT.

Utah’s Dixie Little League (St. George) will play the Hawaii-Arizona winner at 11:30 a.m. on Monday while Nevada will play the SoCal-NorCal winner later that afternoon at 4:30 p.m.

A pair of elimination games will take place on Tuesday, followed by another elimination game on Wednesday.

Semifinal games are scheduled Thursday and Friday. The championship game is scheduled Saturday, Aug. 11, at 6 p.m. PT.

Games will be televised on ESPN+ (Aug. 5-8) and ESPN (Aug. 9-11).

Tournament schedule, scores and video clips can be found at www.littleleague.org/west-region.

The dates for the 2018 Little League World Series are Aug. 16-26 in South Williamsport, Pa.

Prior to leaving for the LLWS West Region tournament, Park View Little League will hold a public pep rally for the SoCal Champions on Thursday, Aug. 2, from 5 to7:30 p.m. at the league’s fields in Chula Vista located at 1200 Oleander Ave.

District 42 administrator Ernie Lucero noted Park View’s 2018 entry marked the fifth team from the South County district to make it to the San Bernardino Western Region Little League tournament in the last decade.

“I know of no other district that has done the same,” he said. “This showing speaks to the culture of Little League in the South County, which is woven into the fabric of the community.

“I’m proud of the fact that the 2018 Park View team will be going to San Bernardino representing Southern California. This experience will be one that they will remember with pride and a sense of accomplishment throughout their lifetime.

“In my 10 years representing the Little Leagues in the South County, we have been to this place four times before. I look forward to the games ahead of us and believe miracles do happen.

“They had to have many victories to get to this point, but now they need to stay grounded and focus to attain more victories in representing Southern California. They will be facing stiff competition from other states in the western region.”

 

The scoreboard says it all — Park View Little League is the 2018 Southern California Division III champion. Photo by Jon Bigornia

 

Southern California Division III Little League
Photo Gallery by Jon Bigornia

 

Sweetwater Valley League 11U all-stars finish second at state finals

While Sweetwater Valley Little League’s 4-0 run indeed proved to be the shortest route to land the reigning California District 42 champions in the 2018 Southern California Division III tournament championship game at Temple City American Little League’s Live Oak Park, the ending to the 10-team tournament did not quite measure up to expectations.

Faced with the daunting task of defeating Section 7 champion Sweetwater Valley twice in the double-elimination format to spirit away the tourney championship, Section 10 champion Aliso Viejo did just that, winning 10-0 on Sunday to force a double-elimination final on Monday.

With both teams sporting a loss, Monday’s game was a winner-take-all contest, with the victor ending the season with the Southern California banner.

Aliso Viejo won, 5-1, to dash Sweetwater Valley’s championship hopes.

“The pitching was there but defensively we made a number of errors that wasn’t representative of how we had been playing,” SVLL manager Mahoe Nakanelua explained.

Sweetwater Valley entered Sunday’s contest riding the momentum of an eight-game winning streak that stretched back to the Section 7 tournament at Spring Valley Little League. The District 42 champions needed only to win that game to secure the state championship.

The Section 7 champions still had the opportunity to come home with the division banner by winning Monday’s game, which was scoreless through three innings.

Aliso Viejo produced one big inning on the scoreboard by scoring four times in the fourth inning. Sweetwater Valley scored its lone run in its final at-bat.

“Overall, we had positive pitching,” Nakanelua said. “We had one inning where we committed some errors and Aliso Viejo got some base hits.

“We talked before the game about fighting to the end, playing Sweetwater Valley baseball, and our kids battled in there.

“We had two runners on base and we got a flare into short center field to score a run.”
Zacque Vogel-Fux and Alessandro Catano pitched in Sunday’s game while Steven McDonald and Landon Lozano pitched in Monday’s game.

Vogel-Fux drove in Monday’s lone run for Sweetwater Valley, scoring Daniel Sanchez.
The District 42 champions ended summer all-star tournament play with an overall 11-3 record.

“The one goal we had when we formed this team was to represent Sweetwater Valley to the best of our ability and put the players in position to be successful in whatever role we put them into,” Nakanelua said. “To have all the success we had, winning the district and section championship banners and finishing one step away from winning the state championship, it was beyond belief for them to be so successful.

“Hopefully they can take this season as a valuable learning experience and come back next year and maybe take it as 12-year-olds.”

Aliso Viejo’s ride to this year’s division title was nothing short of amazing.

The District 55 champions won seven consecutive games while facing elimination each time to win the tournament after dropping their opener.

Aliso Viejo’s amazing run to the division championship included a 2-1 win over District 71 champion Southridge, a 10-10 win over District 33 champion Allied Gardens, a 9-1 win over District 20 champion La Verne, an 11-2 win over District 36 champion Manhattan Beach, an 8-2 win over District 40 champion Encino and the final two victories against Sweetwater Valley.

Stars in their eyes
Nakanelua credited his team’s success to its strong pitching and defense put together with timely hitting.

All three facets were critical, particularly the pitching aspect, as Sweetwater Valley outscored its opening four opponents 11-1 to assure itself of a finals berth.

 

 

Southern California Division III
Little League Championship Tournament

10U All-Star Division
(El Cerrito Sports Park, Corona)

Saturday, July 21
Santa Maria Northside (Section 1) 4, Upland Foothill (Section 3) 1
Golden Hill (Section 5) 7, Eastlake (Section 7) 2

Sunday, July 22
North Park (Section 6) 17, Vineyard (Section 8) 8
Santa Maria Northside (Section 1) 10, Eastvale (Section 9) 0
Huntington Valley (Section 10) 8, El Segundo (Section 4) 4
Golden Hill (Section 5) 6, Pasadena American (Section 2) 1

Monday, July 23
Eastlake (Section 7) 12, Eastvale (Section 9) 6
Pasadena (Section 2) 9, Upland Foothill (Section 3) 6

Tuesday, July 24
Eastlake (Section 7) 7, Vineyard (Section 8) 0
El Segundo (Section 4) 6, Pasadena (Section 2) 5
Santa Maria Northside (Section 1) 4, North Park (Section 6) 3
Golden Hill (Section 5) 8, Huntington Valley (Section 10) 2

Wednesday, July 25
Huntington Valley (Section 10) 5, Eastlake (Section 7) 4
El Segundo (Section 4) 6, North Park (Section 6) 3

Thursday, July 26
Huntington Valley (Section 10) 6, El Segundo (Section 4) 4 (challenger bracket)
Golden Hill (Section 5) 3, Santa Maria Northside (Section 1) 2 (winners bracket final)

Friday, July 27
Huntington Valley (Section 10) 9, Santa Maria Northside (Section 1) 4 (challenger bracket final)

Saturday, July 28
Huntington Valley (Section 10) 6, Golden Hill (Section 5) 4

Sunday, July 29
Championship game: Huntington Valley (Section 10) 5, Golden Hill (Section 5) 4 (double-elimination final)

Sweetwater Valley’s Daniel Sanchez gets ready to crush a pitch to the plate. Photo by Tetateh Snoh

11U All-Star Division
(Temple City American Little League)

Saturday, July 21
Encino (District 40) 2, Aliso Viejo (District 55) 0
La Verne (District 20) 12, Orangecoast (District 24) 5
Manhattan Beach (District 36) 5, Southridge (District 71) 0
Sweetwater Valley (District 42) 5, Tustin Western (District 30) 1

Sunday, July 22
Encino (District 40) 15, Moorpark (District 13) 11
Sweetwater Valley (District 42) 2, Allied Gardens (District 33) 0

Monday, July 23
Aliso Viejo (District 55) 2, Southridge (District 71) 1
Tustin Western (District 30) 10, Orangecrest (District 24) 0

Tuesday, July 24
Encino (District 40) 4, La Verne (District 20) 1
Sweetwater Valley (District 42) 2, Manhattan Beach (District 36) 0

Wednesday, July 25
Aliso Viejo (District 55) 2, Allied Gardens (District 33) 0
Tustin Western (District 30) 8, Moorpark (District 13) 0

Thursday, July 26
Aliso Viejo (District 55) 9, La Verne (District 20) 1 (challenger bracket)
Manhattan Beach (District 36) defeated Tustin Western (District 30), score unavailable (challenger bracket)

Friday, July 27
Sweetwater Valley (District 42) 2, Encino (District 40) 0 (winners bracket)
Aliso Viejo (District 55) defeated Manhattan Beach (District 36), score unavailable (challenger bracket)

Saturday, July 28
Challenger bracket final: Aliso Viejo (District 55) 8, Encino (District 40) 2

Sunday, July 29
Aliso Viejo (District 55) 10, Sweetwater Valley (District 55) 0 (Aliso Viejo forces double-elimination game)

Monday, July 30
Championship game: Aliso Viejo (District 55) 5, Sweetwater Valley (District 42) 1 (double-elimination final)

 

12U All-Star Division
(Woodfield Park, Aliso Viejo Little League)

Saturday, July 21
Temple City National (Section 3) 8, Magnolia Center (Section 9) 5
Vineyard (Section 8) 3, Golden Hill (Section 5) 2
Conejo Valley (Section 1) 4, Quartz Hill (Section 2) 2
Park View (Section 7) 3, San Carlos (Section 6) 1

Sunday, July 22
Huntington Valley (Section 10) 14, Vineyard (Section 8) 4
El Segundo (Section 4) 13, Conejo Valley (Section 5)
Quartz Hill (Section 2) 10, Magnolia Center (Section 9) 8
Golden Hill (Section 5) 6, San Carlos (Section 6) 5

Monday, July 23
Quartz Hill (Section 2) 8, Vineyard (Section 8) 4
Golden Hill (Section 5) 12, Conejo Valley (Section 1) 0

Tuesday, July 24
Temple City National (Section 3) 4, Huntington Valley (Section 10) 1
Park View (Section 7) 6, El Segundo (Section 4) 0

Wednesday, July 25
El Segundo (Section 4) 2, Quartz Hill (Section 2) 1
Huntington Valley (Section 10) 10, Golden Hill (Section 5), 7 innings

Thursday, July 26
Park View (Section 7) 5, Temple City National (Section 3) 2 (winners bracket)
Huntington Valley (Section 10) 13, El Segundo (Section 4) 0 (elimination bracket)

Friday, July 27
Challenger bracket final: Huntington Valley (Section 10) 5, Temple City National (Section 3) 3 (9 innings)

Saturday, July 28
Championship game: Park View (Section 7) 5, Huntington Valley (Section 10) 2 (Park View wins tournament championship)

 

Sweetwater Valley 11U all-stars forced to play double-elimination final

California District 55 champion Aliso Viejo defeated District 42 champion Sweetwater Valley, 10-0, on Sunday to force a double-elimination final to decide this year’s Southern California Division III championship tournament.

The winner-take-all championship game is scheduled Monday at 7 p.m. at Temple City American Little League’s Live Oak Park.

Sweetwater Valley entered Sunday’s game needing just one more win to secure this year’s SoCal state championship. However, the shutout loss handed the District 42 champions their first loss in the 10-team tournament, dropping them to 4-1 in tournament play.

Aliso Viejo, which has successfully battled back through the elimination bracket, also now has one loss in the tournament.

The winner of Monday’s game wins this year’s Southern California Division III championship title, emblematic of the state championship for this division.

Sweetwater Valley takes an overall 11-2 record into Monday’s deciding contest.

 

 

PONY BASEBALL

Tecolote and Emerald each won games on Saturday to meet in Sunday’s Pony-14 Super Region winners bracket final in Lakeside. Tecolote topped Hartwell, 11-1, while Emerald recorded a 6-5 come-from behind win over host Lakeside to both improved to 2-0 in the tournament.

The 16-team Super Region field is split between Lakeside and Covina, with eight teams at each site.

Tecolote defeated Orangecrest, 5-4, in Thursday’s opener while Emerald edged Cypress, 5-4, in its first game on Friday. Lakeside doubled up Quartz Hill, 4-2, in its opening game on Friday.

In elimination games on Saturday, Orangecrest defeated Upland, 12-3, while Cypress topped Quartz Hill by a score of 9-6.

Six teams remain in championship contention at the Lakeside tourney site. Four games are scheduled for Sunday.

Cypress will engage Heartwell in an elimination game at 10 a.m., followed by another elimination game between Lakeside and Orangecrest at 12:30 p.m. Emerald will play Tecolote at 3 p.m. while the Cypress-Heartwell winner will meet the Lakeside-Orangecrest winner in an elimination contest at 5:30 p.m. to top off the day as the field is further reduced to three teams.

The Tecolote-Emerald winner advances to meet Sunday’s Long Beach-Ventura winner in a winners bracket game on Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Lakeside. The losers of Sunday’s games must play additional elimination games on Monday and Tuesday.

The top two teams from the Super Region tournament advance to the West Zone tournament Aug. 2-5 in West Hills.

Tecolote, which has three South County players on its roster, remains undefeated in all-star tournament play this summer.

Update:
Tecolote defeated Emerald, 8-1, on Sunday while Long Beach defeated Ventura, 12-2, to advance to the Super Region winners bracket game.

Lakeside defeated Orangecrest, 10-7, while Heartwell defeated Cypress, 8-4, in a pair of elimination games earlier on Sunday.

Emerald will play Sunday night’s Lakeside-Heartwell winner in Monday’s elimination bracket final for a chance to advance to the Super Region second-place game.

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