The Pony League World Series isn’t as well recognized as the Little League World Series but still has a long and storied history.
Both events are held annually in Pennsylvania.
Little League International can trace its origin to 1939; Pony Baseball was first organized in 1951.
A San Diego County-based team is still in the running to advance to this year’s Pony-14 championship series, one that contains a South County flavoring.
Three players on the Tecolote Red all-star team are locals: Carlos Cerda Jr. from Olympian High School and Diego Magallon and Isaiah Martinez, both from Eastlake Middle School.
The team has proven to be a contender in all three tournaments in which it has competed so far, and is readying for its fourth tournament this weekend: the elite West Zone tournament in West Hills.
The Pony West Zone tournament is equivalent to Little League Baseball’s Western Regional tournament in San Bernardino.
The West Zone winner advances to the Pony League World Series.
Tecolote Red carries a 10-1 overall record into the eight-team West Zone tournament, scheduled Thursday through Sunday.
The team is fresh off a runner-up finish in the Super Region tournament hosted in Lakeside.
Tecolote Red’s Pony-14 all-star team went through the opening two rounds of the playoffs undefeated to reach last week’s Super Region tournament.
The team almost made it unscathed through three rounds of playoff competition before finally tasting defeat for the first time in a 14-2 loss to Long Beach in Monday’s championship game.
The Super Region remains a qualifier for the West Zone tournament and includes two teams.
However, the tournament features a true second-place game, with Tecolote meeting Lakeside on Tuesday for the right to advance to the upcoming West Zone tournament in West Hills.
Tecolote prevailed, 6-5, to earn a berth in the fourth round of this year’s playoffs.
The Tecolote team’s roster also includes Lorenzo Sardo, Jacob Campagna, Binks Deatherage, T.J. Bibler, Dominic Nunes, Tylor Eagan, Jet Taylor, Jackson Emerson, Andrew Norman, Diego Nunez and Jamil Labra.
Mike Campagna serves as team manager while Larry Deatherage serves as team coach.
Tecolote started its all-star tournament run by winning the Southwest Section 2 championship by topping Chula Vista South, 8-2, on June 30. Tecolote finished 3-0 in the four-team double-elimination tournament by also posting wins over Paradise Hills (13-0 on June 26) and Chula Vista South (5-2 on June 28).
Chula Vista South doubled up the Fallbrook Apaches in the elimination bracket final to draw a championship rematch with Tecolote.
The section champions advanced to the Southwest Region tournament hosted July 13-15 by Lakeside. Tecolote finished 3-0 in that tournament as well to win it.
Tecolote defeated Chula Vista North, 15-4, in its first game on July 13, then topped Emerald, 14-8, in its second game on July 14 before defeating Emerald, 11-1, in a rematch in the championship game on July 15.
Emerald defeated Chula Vista North, 17-8, in the elimination bracket to draw a second matchup against Tecolote.
Emerald had previously defeated Chula Vista North, 8-2, in the Section 1 championship game.
Tecolote played a total of five games in the Super Region tournament.
The 16-team Super Region tournament was broken into two divisions each with eight teams.
The following eight teams played at the Lakeside site: Tecolote, Orangecrest, Upland, Heartwell, Emerald, Cypress, Quartz Hill and Lakeside.
Tecolote won its opening three games in its eight-team division: 5-4 over Orangecrest on July 26, 11-1 over Heartwell on July 28 and 8-1 over Emerald on July 29.
Long Beach, likewise undefeated with three consecutive wins in its bracket in Covina, topped Tecolote, 14-2, in Monday’s Super Region championship game to advance to the West Zone tournament.
The loss forced Tecolote to play a runner-up game on Tuesday evening against Lakeside, which defeated Ventura, 6-3, earlier in the afternoon.
In Tuesday’s win over Lakeside, Tecolote scored six runs on 11 hits while making two errors.
The Tecolote all-stars scored three runs in the third inning, with Campagna, Nunes and Martinez powering the big inning each with a RBI.
Campagna, Sardo and Bibler each collected multiple hits for Tecolote in the game. Campagna led the team with three hits in four at-bats.
Team chemistry remains a strength for the team, according to players.
“What makes the Tecolote all-stars so successful this summer is the great coaching and camaraderie,” Martinez said. “We can count on each other to make the plays and still have fun!”
The fun isn’t quite over yet.
Wild West Showcase
The West Zone tournament, which runs Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 2-5, features eight teams from four states.
Four teams are from California – Long Beach, Tecolote Red, Ceres Blaze and host West Hills. Other teams entered in the tournament are from Utah (Orem), Arizona (South East Valley), Hawaii (Maui) and Washington (South Sound).
The West Zone winner advances to the Pony-14 World Series in Washington, Pa., Aug. 10-15.
Tecolote will play the Blaze, the Northern California representative, in its first game on Thursday at 2 p.m. The winner advances to meet the winner of Thursday’s West Hills-Arizona game on Friday, also at 2 p.m.
In other opening round games on Thursday, Orem plays Maui while Long Beach plays South Sound. The winners of those games will meet in a winners bracket matchup on Friday at 5 p.m.
The tournament features two brackets. The Tecolote-Nor Cal loser will play the West Hills-Arizona loser in an elimination game on Friday at 2 p.m.
The Orem-Maui loser will play the Long Beach-South Sound loser in an elimination game on Friday at 5 p.m.
Thus, after two days, the tournament will be reduced to six remaining teams.
Two more elimination games on Saturday afternoon will further reduce the field to four teams. The field will be narrowed further following semifinal games later that same evening.
The winners of each bracket will meet in Sunday’s championship gamer at 2 p.m.
West Hills Baseball is located at 7001 Valley Circle Blvd. in West Hills.
The tournament website is located at www.westhillsbaseball.clubsetup.com.
Tecolote Youth Baseball is located at 4675 Tecolote Road in San Diego (just west of the University of San Diego).
For more information, visit the website at www.pony.org.
Livestream at www.yourgamecam.com/?facility=westhillsbaseball
Pony Baseball West Zone scoreboard: www.pony.org/Default.aspx?tabid=1026154
West Zone Game Changer boxscores: https://gc.com/tmt/summer-2018/2018-pony-west-zone-pony-zone-tournament-5b29ea116f968c001f12e7f3
Tecolote Red off to fast start at Pony-14 West Zone tourney
Tecolote Red got out to a fast start by notching a 4-0 win in its first game on Thursday, making the most of two hits to defeat Northern California’s Ceres Blaze 4-0. T.J. Bibler accounted for four RBI in the game to lead Tecolote. Meanwhile, Jet Taylor pitched seven innings, throwing 20 first-pitch strikes while scattering six hits to pick up the win on the mound.
Nathaniel Layton led Ceres with two hits. Tecolote’s Diego Nunes reached base twice via walks.
Tecolote scored all four of its runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to snap a scoreless deadlock.
Tecolote continued its fast start by defeating tourney host West Hills, 7-0, in a second-round game on Friday.
Long Beach, which defeated Tecolote to win the Southern California Super Region tournament, pounded out 14 hits to pound South Sound, the representative from Washington State, by a score of 20-0 in another opening-round game on Thursday.
Tecolote Red survives early scare to advance to West Zone Pony-14 championship game
Northern California’s Ceres Blaze scored five runs in the top of the first inning to put Southern California’s Tecolote Red in a quick deficit but the Southwest Region champions charged back with three runs in the bottom of the third inning and two more in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game.
Tecolote Red then tacked on three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to complete its 8-5 comeback victory and, in the process, advance to Sunday’s West Zone championship game.
Tecolote Red will play either Maui (Hawaii) or Southern California Super Region champion Long Beach at 2 p.m. Maui and Long Beach will meet in a semifinal elimination game at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Both teams finished the game with 11 hits while Tecolote Red committed two errors.
Camden Miller (Blaze) and Jacob Campagna (Tecolote) led their respective teams with three hits. Campagna finished the game with three RBI. T.J. Bibler also had two RBI for Tecolote.
Bibler (3.2 innings) and Campagna (2.2 innings) combined on the hill to pitch Tecolote to the win. Gabrial Lopez pitched four innings for Ceres, recording 19 first-pitch strikes; Bibler had 10 first-pitch strikes.
Tecolote improved to 3-0 in the West Zone tournament. Saturday’s loss eliminated the Blaze, which finished 1-2.
Ceres defeated tournament host West Hills, 10-4, in an elimination game earlier on Saturday to meet Tecolote.
Long Beach eliminated Orem (Utah) on the strength of a 13-3 win on Saturday morning and then forced a semifinal rematch against Maui with a 2-1 win over the Hawaii team later that evening.
Three teams remain in the tournament heading into the final day of competition: Tecolote (3-0), Long Beach (3-1) and Maui (2-1).
Tecolote improved its season record to 13-1 overall with the 3-0 West Zone showing.
Long Beach tops Maui to earn finals date against Tecolote, then earns Pony League World Series bid
Southern California Super Region champion Long Beach poured across five runs in the top of the seventh inning in Sunday’s semifinal matchup against Maui (Hawaii) to escape with a 13-10 victory and advance to meet Tecolote Red in Sunday afternoon’s championship game.
Ryan Skjonsby led Long Beach in the dramatic come-from-behind win over Maui with five RBI while teammate Bren Wilkinson collected four RBI.
Long Beach led 5-0 early in the game before Hawaii erupted for nine runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 10-8 lead.
Vincent Iwamura led Maui with three RBI in the loss, which eliminated the Hawaii team from championship contention.
Long Beach’s bats had little time to cool off and they didn’t as Long Beach proceeded to top Tecolote, 8-1, in that afternoon’s championship game to earn the West Zone’s single bid to the 2018 Pony League World Series in Washington, Pa.
Myles Patton drove in four runs to lead Long Beach in Sunday’s second game while teammate Ryan Geck collected three RBI. Geck led all players in the game with three hits.
The San Diego team took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning but Long Beach quickly countered with three runs of its own in the top of the third inning. The West Zone champions tacked on three more runs in the top of the fifth inning and scored three times in the top of the seventh inning.
Jack Dhein pitched six inning for Long Beach, striking out four Tecolote batters.
Dominic Nunes pitched 5.1 innings for Tecolote, striking our four batters, while Zay Martinez pitched 1.2 innings with two strikeouts. Nunes threw 14 first-pitch strikes in the game.
2018 Pony-14 West Zone Tournament
Aug. 2-5 in West Hills
Thursday, Aug. 2
Tecolote Red (Southern California) 4, Ceres Blaze (Northern California) 0
West Hills (host) 10, South East Valley (Arizona) 3
Maui (Hawaii) 20, Orem (Utah) 0
Long Beach 20, South Sound (Wash.) 0
Friday, Aug. 3
Ceres Blaze (Northern California) 6, South East Valley (Arizona) 0 (elimination game)
Tecolote Red (Southern California) 7, West Hills (host), 0 (winners bracket)
Maui (Hawaii) 6, Long Beach 5 (winners bracket)
Orem (Utah) 9, South Sound (Wash.) 6 (elimination bracket)
Saturday, Aug. 4
Ceres Blaze (Northern California) 10, West Hills 4
Long Beach 13, Orem (Utah) 3
Tecolote Red 8, Ceres Blaze (Northern California) 5
Long Beach 2, Maui (Hawaii) 1
Sunday, Aug. 5
Semifinal game: Long Beach 13, Maui 10
Championship game: Long Beach 8, Tecolote Red (Southern California) 1
Note: Long Beach advances to Pony League World Series in Washington, Pa.
Pony 14U Division
Region tournament at Lakeside
(Four team double-elimination)
Friday, July 13
Emerald 10, Chula Vista South 1
Tecolote 15, Chula Vista North 5
Saturday, July 14
Chula Vista North 3, Chula Vista South 2
Tecolote 14, Emerald 8
Emerald 17, Chula Vista North 8
Sunday, July 15
Tecolote 11, Emerald 1 (championship)
Note: top two teams (Tecolote, Emerald) advance to Super Region at Lakeside July 26-31
Pony-13 Section Tournament
June 16-22 at Emerald Pony, El Cajon
Games of June 16:
Carlsbad 11, Ramona 1
Emerald Devils Dogs 4, La Jolla 0
Games of June 17:
Emerald Green 7, Carlsbad 3
Emerald Devil Dogs 16, Tecolote 6
Carlsbad 4, La Jolla 2
Games of June 20:
Ramona 16, Tecolote 12
Carlsbad 9, Ramona 1
Games of June 21:
Emerald Green 3, Emerald Devil Dogs 1
Emerald Devils Dogs 9, Carlsbad 4 (challenger bracket final)
Games of June 22:
Emerald Green 5, Emerald Devil Dogs 4 (championship game)
Note: Top four teams advance to regional tournament at Lakeside (July 5-7) — Emerald Green, Emerald Devil Dogs, Carlsbad, Ramona
Pony-14 Section Tournament
June 23-30 at Emerald Pony, El Cajon
Games of June 23:
Emerald Green 11, Ramona 1
Emerald Black, Chula Vista North 4
Games of June 24:
Emerald Black 3, San Marcos Bulldogs 1
Chula Vista North 11, Ramona 1
Chula Vista North 16, San Marcos Bulldogs 3
Games of June 29:
Winners bracket final: Emerald Black 7, Emerald Green 2
Challenger bracket final: Chula Vista North 9, Emerald Green 1
Games of June 30:
Championship game: Emerald Black 10, Chula Vista North 0
Note: top two teams advance to regional tournament in Lakeside (July 12-15) — Emerald Black, Chula Vista North
Bronco-12 East/South Section Tournament
June 23-in El Cajon
Games of June 23:
La Jolla 6, Eastlake 3
North City 14. Mission Bay 2
Tecolote 2, San Diego Competitive 0
Emerald 6, Chula Vista South 0
Games of June 24:
La Jolla 12, North City 1
Eastlake 20, Mission Bay 9
Tecolote 11, Emerald 3
San Diego Competitive 7, Chula Vista South 3
Games of June 25:
San Diego Competitive 6, North City 1
Emerald vs. Eastlake 14, Emerald 2
Games of June 26:
San Diego Competitive 9, Eastlake 3
Winners bracket final: La Jolla 11, Tecolote 1
Games of June 27:
Challenger bracket final: San Diego Competitive 8, Tecolote 2
Games of June 28
San Diego Competitive 6, La Jolla 2
San Diego Competitive 9, La Jolla 7 (double-elimination game)
Note: top four teams advance to region tournament in Escondido (July 12-17) — San Diego Competitive, La Jolla, Tecolote, Eastlake