The opposition appears to be getting tougher with each game but Park View Little League’s 12U all-star tournament team appears to have the right answer each time.
The Green Monsters improved to 9-0 in postseason play following Tuesday’s 6-0 shutout win over Section 4 champion El Segundo in the Southern California Division III championship tournament being hosted by Aliso Viejo Little League.
Kainoa Baptista tossed a complete game 88-pitch shutout, striking out eight batters, to enable Park View to remain in the winners bracket.
Park View scored runs throughout the contest, starting with a triple by Jose Mendoza to score teammate Allan Camarillo and jumping ahead 4-0 courtesy of a three-run home run by Aidan Skinner that scored Jordan Bleisch and Conner Alonzo.
The Green Monsters were warming up another pitcher in case Baptista had to leave the game because of the maximum pitch count but he was able to retire the final El Segundo batter to end the game.
The maximum pitch count is 85 but a pitcher can continue to pitch to a batter if he reaches the maximum count during the particular at-bat.
Baptista credited his defense for making plays that helped him avoid pitching out of jams.
At the plate, Skinner went one-for-one with the three-run home run and three RBI off the bench while Allan Camarillo one-for-two with a RBI and one run scored, Ivan Rodriguez went two-for-four with a RBI, Jordan Bleisch went one-for-one off the bench and Conner Alonzo went one-for-one with one run scored and two walks.
With the win, Park View advances to Thursday’s winners bracket final against Temple City National, which defeated Huntington Valley, 4-1, on Tuesday.
“Kainoa “Island Prime” Baptista put us on his back and pitched a gem,” noted Jorge Camarillo in his role as the team’s new manager. “Our offense had timely hitting led by Aiden Skinner once again off the bench. It will be a tough match-up against a real good Temple City National team.”
El Segundo drops to the challenger bracket and will meet Quartz Hill in an elimination game on Wednesday while Huntington Valley meets Golden Hill in another elimination game on Wednesday.
Four teams have now been eliminated from the 10-team divisional tournament. Park View and Temple City National are the only two undefeated teams while four other teams each have one loss.
Park View, which is now assured of no worse than a top three finish in the Division III championship field, needs two wins to advance to the Little League World Series West Region tournament in San Bernardino but must be beaten twice to be eliminated.
Thursday’s key encounter is set for a 6:30 p.m. start at Woodfield Park. Saturday’s championship game is slated for a 1 p.m. start.
The loser of Thursday’s game must play the winner of Thursday’s challenger bracket game on Friday in another elimination game. The winner of Friday’s challenger bracket final advances to Saturday’s championship game.
if necessary, a double-elimination final is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m.
Sweetwater Valley Little League defeated Tustin Western, 5-1, in its Division III tournament opener at Temple City American Little League last Saturday and has continued its winning ways by topping Section 6 champion Allied Gardens in its next game on Sunday, winning, 2-0, and recording a 2-0 shutout victory against District 36 champion Manhattan Beach on Tuesday.
“It was a great weekend, a great experience for the team,” SVLL manager Mahoe Nakanelua said. “It was great competition. It was intense.”
The District 42 champions used four pitchers in winning its first game at the divisional tournament, with Zacque Vogel-Fux receiving credit for the win. Steven McDonald, Andrew Arnce and Daniel Sanchez also received stints on the mound.
Nyenati Snoh, Alessandro Catano, Sanchez, McDonald, Jack Villanueva, Ethan Otero and Kapono Nakanelua each had hits in the game.
Sanchez pitched a complete game on Sunday, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning before finishing with a one-hit shutout and four strikeouts. Sanchez also scored a run on a hit by Arnce.
Joey Castillo, Catano, McDonald, Sanchez and Arnce each had hits.
Catano scored the team’s first run on hit by McDonald.
Six teams entered Monday’s slate of games still alive in the challenger bracket. Four teams were left in the winners bracket entering Tuesday’s slate of games: Sweetwater Valley, Manhattan Beach, Encino and La Verne.
Two teams faced elimination on Monday and two more teams faced elimination on Tuesday.
“Staying in the winners bracket is ideal for pitching and managing the team,” Sweetwater Valley Little League President Arturo Maldonado explained. “We played two hard-fought games and played well. We have excellent pitching. We played two very competitive teams. The pitching has been phenomenal by allowing just one run in two games. The pitching and defense has been spot-on.
“The best part is not to drop to the losers bracket because you play every day and stress your pitching.”
Sweetwater Valley continued not to stress its pitching after recording a 2-0 shutout win over District 36 champion Manhattan Beach on Tuesday to advance to Friday’s winners bracket final. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Temple City American Little League.
The winner of Friday’s game advances to Sunday’s championship game (4 p.m. start); the loser of Friday’s game must play an elimination game on Saturday (7 p.m. start).
If needed, a double-elimination final would be played on Monday (7 p.m. start).
Eastlake Little League dropped last Saturday’s Division III tournament opener to Section 5 champion Golden Hills, 7-2, but rebounded with a 12-6 elimination win over Eastvale (Section 9) on Monday to draw Vineyard in an elimination game on Tuesday.
Eastlake manager Adam Villarreal admitted last Saturday’s contest was “a tough day for Eastlake.”
“We lost 7-2, but honestly felt like we were right there the whole time,” Villarreal said.
Noah Cook pitched well for four innings, allowing five runs on five hits, while Jake Serrano pitched two innings while allowing two runs.
“The offense went cold after a two-RBI hit in the second inning,” the Eastlake manager recounted. “After that Eastlake stranded seven runners on base.”
Monday was a slightly different story all around for the District 42 champions as they jumped out to an 11-0 lead after the first inning.
Cook, Noah Flores, Hamza Hatahet and Armando Mendivil each went two-for-three to lead the team’s offense.
Pitching was lead off with Noah Flores pitched the first and second innings, Hatahet pitched the third through the fifth, while Serrano recorded the save in the sixth inning.
“We still have a lot of work to do coming out of the losers bracket,” the Eastlake manager conceded. “We need to win every day till Saturday if we’re gonna pull this off.
We have the depth and the talent, we just need to execute the game plan.”
That game plan appears to be working after Eastlake staved off elimination in Tuesday’s challenger bracket contest against Vineyard (Section 8), winning 7-0.
Eastlake now faces either Huntington Valley (Section 10) or Golden Hills (Section 5) on Wednesday.
“We found away to win another one,” Villarreal said.
Three pitchers today combined for a shutout — Noah Flores, Armando Mendivil and Josh Alo — while hits from Alo, Flores, Mendivil, Hamza Hatahet and Noah Cook led to a 4-0 lead.
“Solid pitching combined with good defensive play helped our team to the win,” the Eastlake manager noted. “We live to fight another day. “(Whoever) we play next, I know our team will be prepared. We’re battle tested, and ready for the challenge.”
Cook finished Tuesday’s game three-for-three with two doubles, one RBI and three runs scored while Mendivil went two-for-three with one double and one RBI.
Noah Flores pitched 3 innings, recording five strikeouts and no walks, while Mendivil pitched two innings with three strikeouts and no walks.
Details to follow as they become available.
District 42 champions representing South County region with pride — wins — at the next level
Teams from California District 42 Little League have made strong showings in all the all-star tournaments in which they have competed so far this summer.
Eastlake Little League’s 10U all-stars, Sweetwater Valley’s 11U all-stars and Park View Little League’s 12U all-stars — this year’s district champions – all won California Section 7 championship titles.
The three teams remain deep in competition at the next level at the Southern California Division III tournament. This level marks the last stop for the 10U and 11U age groups and is equivalent of a state championship. For the 12Us, it is a launch pad to the Little League World Series West Region tournament in San Bernardino.
District 42 administrator Ernie Lucero remains encouraged by the teams’ collective effort.
“Over the years, District 42 Little League has garnered a reputation of excellent baseball which has carried over to this year’s all-star teams,” Lucero said.
“What makes me most proud this year is the professionalism of all the managers, coaches and players of the all-star teams. At the conclusion of all our games, regardless of the outcome, they don’t overreact and are even-keeled. This demonstrates true sportsmanship that every baseball organization should strive for.
“If you go to any of these games you will see that the parents are focused on positive cheering on their kids and team. This is what makes California District 42 Little League stand out.”
All three teams won critical games on Tuesday to remain in contention for state championships.
Sweetwater Valley defeated District 36 champion Manhattan Beach, 2-0, to remain undefeated at the Division III tournament in Temple City. The District 42 champions are now 3-0 in tournament play after out-scoring their opponents 9-1 in the three games, including back-to-back 2-0 shutout victories.
The Section 7 champions play District 40 champion Encino in Friday’s winners bracket final at Temple City American Little League’s Live Oak Park. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
The winner advances to Sunday’s championship game, slated for a 4 p.m. start.
Sweetwater Valley needs two more wins to claim this year’s Southern California championship and will require two losses to deny it that opportunity in the 10-team double-elimination tournament.
Zacque Vogel-Fux recorded the win on the mound in Tuesday’s contest while Kapono Nakanelua drove in both runs.
Steven McDonald closed out the game with one out in the sixth inning after Vogel-Fux had pitched into the frame.
“He (Vogel-Fux) was very effective – he had a number of strikeouts,” the SVLL manager said.
Pitching remains the key ingredient in successfully navigating the winners bracket. Daniel Sanchez took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of Sunday’s game, a 2-0 win over Section 6 champion Allied Gardens.
“We have strong pitching and strong defense and that put together with timely hitting has been successful for us so far,” the elder Nakanelua said. “The game against Manhattan Beach was intense and our team responded. I am so proud of them.”
Lucero echoed the SVLL manager’s encouraging words.
“The Sweetwater Valley Little League 11’s All-Star team is making an impressive showing in their attempt to capture the Southern California championship title in Temple City,” Lucero noted. “Manager Mahoe Nakanelua and his coaching staff have done a superb job of motivating these little leaguers. At every game these kids show they are present and dedicated to winning the game.”
Impressive showing might be an understatement for this group. Sweetwater Valley last won the SoCal championship in 2015 en route to an historic appearance in the Little League World Series. Prior to that, Sweetwater Valley finished runner-up in the Division III championship game in 2014 (the group that would later go on to place third among U.S. teams in South Williamsport).
Sweetwater Valley Little League President Arturo Maldonado was a part of that history-making 2015 squad, and he could be a part of history again.
“To do that twice in a three-year span shows the quality league we have,” Maldonado said. “I think there are something like 300-plus 11U all-star teams in the division and, as for Friday, there are four still alive, so that’s a very big accomplishment for us.”
Eastlake, meanwhile, has whittled its way down to the final six teams in its age division.
The District 42 champions lost their opening game in the Division III tournament being played at El Cerrito Sports Park in Corona but has remained in contention to win the title with two consecutive wins in the elimination bracket.
Eastlake eliminated Section 9 champion Eastvale, 12-6, on Monday and shut out Section 8 champion Vineyard, 7-0, on Tuesday to advance to Wednesday’s elimination game against Section 10 champion Huntington Valley.
There are four teams remaining in the elimination bracket and two teams that are still undefeated in the winners bracket. Four teams have been eliminated from title contention and two more will depart the tournament following Wednesday’s slate of games.
Section 1 champion Santa Maria Northside and Section 5 champion Golden Hills are both undefeated. Golden Hills defeated Eastlake, 7-2, in the teams’ tourney opener on July 21.
Section 6 champion North Park and Section 4 champion El Segundo will meet in an elimination game on Wednesday, with the winner to play the Eastlake-Huntington Valley winner on Thursday in another elimination game.
Santa Maria Northside and Golden Hills play on Thursday, with the winner advancing to the championship game and the loser dropping to play the winner of Thursday’s elimination final.
A long road remains ahead for Eastlake in its quest to win a state title (the league finished runner-up last year), but it’s not an impossible trek.
Eastlake Little League President Ronne Pietila-Wiggs understandably remains very proud of this team.
“I truly believe that this team owes its success to the enormous amount of support and positive vibes that surround this little team,” she said. “A special kudos to the coaching staff and parents for continuing to support these boys unconditionally and being good role models. Of course, we can’t forget the players themselves who have been resilient throughout this run, they have been playing a lot of baseball and continue to have fun!”
Lucero also has strong words of support.
“The Eastlake Little League 10s all-star team is making a good showing after their initial loss,” he said. “This goes to show the team is resilient and committed. The loss they experienced simply made them hungry for a win they have (since) accomplished. This is a team to watch in the next two years.”
The Park View 12U all-star team appears to be the team to watch now. The Green Monsters have won their opening two games in the Division III tournament and are two wins away from advancing to the elite West Region finals – and a national television audience.
While distractions start to mount, the team appears to retain its focus. Park View topped Section 4 champion El Segundo, 6-0, on Tuesday to advance to Thursday’s winners bracket final against Section 3 champion Temple City National (6:30 p.m. start).
Thursday’s winner advances to Saturday’s championship game while the loser must play an elimination game on Friday in a bid to punch its ticket to San Bernardino.
Six teams remain in contention for the 2018 Division III championship. District 36 champion El Segundo, Section 2 champion Quartz Hill, Section 10 Huntington Valley and Section 5 champion Golden Hill are all in the elimination bracket. Two of those teams will meet elimination following Wednesday’s games and another on Thursday, leaving one team to challenge Thursday’s winners bracket loser on Friday.
It’s going to be a tough battle to sort out the field, with so much riding on each game from here on out.
The Green Monsters have already displayed the ability to fight through adversity after manager Will Bleisch was suspended for the duration of the tournament for an unintended rule violation following the team’s 3-1 victory over Section 6 champion San Carlos last Saturday.
The suspension resulted from one player not receiving an at-bat despite playing three innings in the field (Rule 9). Park View was to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning, which would have satisfied the rule. However, the game ended after the top of the sixth inning.
Little League Rule 9 concerns mandatory play. It reads:
“If a tournament team has thirteen (13) or more eligible players in uniform at a game, then every player on a team roster shall participate in each game for a minimum of one (1) at bat. If a tournament team has twelve (12) or fewer eligible players in uniform at a game, then every player on a team roster shall participate in each game for a minimum of six (6) consecutive defensive outs and bat at least one (1) time.”
The 13-player rule applies to Park View. Rule 9 continues:
“If a team has 13 or more players in uniform at the start of a game, players must be inserted into the line-up to bat offensively during the:
- Visiting team: fourth or fifth inning, or as one of the first three batters in the sixth inning that will allow their one at-bat to be satisfied.
- Home team: fourth inning or as one of the first three batters in the fifth inning that will allow their one at-bat to be satisfied.
- b) Managers are solely responsible for ensuring that all players fulfill the requirements of mandatory play, even if notification is not made.
- c) There is no exception to this rule unless the game is shortened for any reason.
Note: A game is not considered shortened if the home team does not complete the offensive half of the sixth or seventh inning (or any extra inning) due to winning the game.
- d) Failure to meet the mandatory play requirements in this rule is a basis for protest. If one or more players on a roster do not meet this requirement, and if protested or brought to the tournament committee’s attention, it shall result (by action of the tournament committee) in the removal of the team’s manager, without replacement, for the remainder of the international tournament. Additional penalties (including but not limited to forfeiture of a game, additional mandatory play requirements for players who failed to meet mandatory play, and/or disqualification of the team or coaches from further tournament participation) may be imposed if, in the opinion of the tournament committee:
- A manager or coach takes any action that results in making a travesty of the game, causing players to intentionally perform poorly for the purpose of extending or shortening a game, or;
- A team fails to meet the requirements of this rule more than once during the international tournament, which begins with district play and ends at the World Series level (state level for 8- to 10- and 9- to 11-year-old divisions), or;
- A manager willfully and knowingly disregards the requirements of this rule. A manager or coach suspended for any reason is not permitted to be at the game site and must not take any part in the game(s), nor have any communication s whatsoever with any persons at the game site. This includes pregame and postgame activities.
Violation may result, by action of the tournament committee, in further suspension; forfeiture of a game; and/or disqualification of the team, managers, or coaches from further tournament participation.
- e) For the purpose of this rule, “six (6) consecutive defensive outs” is defined as: A player enters the field in one of the nine defensive positions when his/her team is on defense and occupies such position while six consecutive outs are made; “bat at least one (1) time” is defined as: A player enters the batter’s box with no count and completes that time at bat by being retired or by reaching base safely.”
“The unintended rule violation unfortunately cost the removal of the manager from this tournament,” Lucero explained. “However, the team is carrying on without its respected leader and still has the guidance and support of its coaches. The team remains in capable hands with coach Jorge Camarillo leading the way. He will keep the team humming and motivated to do their best.”
Camarillo led Park View to the 2016 Little League World Series, so it appears the Green Monsters are in very capable hands, indeed.
“Right now the team is in a sweet spot to play in the championship game this Saturday,” Lucero said. “The team is focused. Because of the team history going to Williamsport (2009 and 2016) they have earned a solid reputation among Southern California teams.”
It’s definitely going to be an exciting weekend for South County Little League fans, one that could end with a pot of gold – er, state banner — at the end of the rainbow.
Park View-El Segundo SoCal Regional
Photo Gallery by Jon Bigornia
Eastlake Little League 10U all-stars end tournament run in Southern Cal Division III challenger bracket
Eastlake Little League 10U all-star team manager Adam Villarreal called Wednesday’s elimination game against Section 10 champion Huntington Valley at the Southern California Division III tournament at El Cerrito Sports Park in Corona an “extremely tough day.”
Eastlake dropped a 5-4 decision to Huntington Valley to suffer elimination from the 10-team regional state championship tournament.
The District 42 and Section 7 champions battled to the final six teams in the division but could not find the answer to slip into the elite cadre of final four teams following Wednesday’s slate of games.
“We were in it till the very last pitch,” Villarreal said. “The game was tied 4-4 going into the bottom of the sixth inning.”
Josh Alo and Noah Cook pitched extremely well for Eastlake in the must-win game.
Noah Flores (two-for-two) led the team’s offense while Armando Mendivil, Hamza Hatahet, Cook and Jake Serrano each contributed with hits as well.
“It was an extremely difficult loss, but these 10-year-olds all have a bright future ahead of them,” the Eastlake manager said. “This is just the beginning. They’ll learn from this experience and come back twice as strong next year. My coaches Tom Alo and Chris Holtzapple were fantastic to work with and would jump a the chance to work again with them.”
Eastlake finished the all-star tournament season with an overall 9-2 record, including an undefeated run through the district and section tournaments.
The District 42 champions dropped last Saturday’s opening game in the Division III tournament, 7-2 to Section 5 champion Golden Hills, but rallied with consecutive wins in the elimination bracket to remain in championship contention.
Eastlake defeated Section 9 champion Eastvale, 12-6, on Monday and blanked Section 8 champion Vineyard, 7-0, on Tuesday.
“It was a great ride,” Villarreal said.
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 Hills (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 Hills (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 Hills (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) vs. El Segundo (Section 4), 6:30 p.m. (challenger bracket)
Santa Maria Northside (Section 1) vs. Golden Hills (Section 5), 6:30 p.m. (winners bracket final)
Friday, July 27
Huntington Valley-El Segundo winner vs. Santa Maria Northside-Golden Hills loser, TBA (challenger bracket final)
Sunday, July 28
Championship game, 2 p.m.
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 vs. La Verne (challenger bracket), 5 p.m.
Tustin Western (District 30) vs. Manhattan Beach (challenger bracket), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, July 27
Encino (District 40) vs. Sweetwater Valley (District 42), 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 28
Challenger bracket final, 7 p.m.
Sunday, July 29
Championship game, 4 p.m. (if needed, double-elimination on Monday, 7 p.m.)
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
Temple City National (Section 3) vs. Park View (Section 7), 6:30 p.m. (winners bracket)
El Segundo (Section 4) vs. Huntington Valley (Section 10), 6:30 p.m. (challenger bracket)
Friday, July 27
Challenger bracket final, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 28
Championship game, 1 p.m. (if needed, double-elimination final on Sunday, 1 p.m.)