Through the first five days of the 2013 Little League District 55 All-Star Tournament, three Laguna Beach teams were still in contention for division championships.
The teams, the 11-year-old, 9/10 and 8/9 Superstar All-Stars, each have one loss in the double-elimination event, but can win district titles by winning out the remainder of the tournament.
Little League All-Stars
Laguna was eliminated from the tournament after dropping its first two games. Laguna fell, 10-0, to Laguna Niguel in an opener on Saturday, and on Sunday had its postseason come to an end in a 16-7 loss to Rancho Niguel.
The Little League All-Star tournament is being played at Woodfield Park in Aliso Viejo.
Little League All-Stars: Kent Cebreros, Cutter Clawson, Caleb Hardy, Curran Hendrickson, Cole Hunt, Hunter Johnson, Daniel Kimball, Will Lichtenstein, Joshua McManus, Grady Morgan, Jaden Rea, Sam Reynolds, Nick Carpino, Wesley Witteman, Sam Kluver. Manager: Hector Cebreros. Coaches: Mike Reynolds, Mike Morgan.
The Laguna 10/11 All-Star team stayed alive Tuesday by eliminating Laguna Hills, 7-5, at Lincoln Field in Newport Beach.
It was the second straight win for Laguna, which previously posted a 1-0 shutout over Irvine in an elimination game on Sunday.
Laguna had started tournament play on June 28 and was edged, 9-8, by Laguna Niguel.
Laguna faced Northwood in an elimination game on Wednesday. The score wasn't available at press time. The winner of Wednesday's game moved on to another elimination game at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
11-year-old All Stars: Zack Bonnin, Dylan Brashier, Lance Detweiler, Ayrton Garcia, Jeremy Hayes, Brooks Hogenauer, Christian Holm, James Loughlin, Nathan Magers, Josh Meiswinkel, Charlie Pillsbury, Nolan Smith, Nicholas Lucas, Noah Linder, Hayden Myers.
Laguna continued on in district play by scoring a 6-3 win over Rancho Niguel in an elimination game Tuesday at Crown Valley Field in Laguna Niguel.
Scotty Plowden pitched four innings, Jamie Mackay threw 1 2/3 innings, and Booker Frith recorded the final out to seal the victory. Luke Lavin drove in the first two Laguna runs on a single in the first inning. Caden Capobianco returned to action and immediately made an impact in the field and at the plate.
Laguna edged Northwood, 7-6, in a tournament opener for both teams on Saturday.
The score was tied heading into the bottom of the sixth where Frith hit a game-winning, walk-off RBI single. Connor Fink had a big at-bat in the final inning to reach base and went on to score the winning run.
Hits by Plowden, George Williams, Jack Payne and Nolan Naess (two for two, double) aided the Laguna offense. Cooper Noriega slammed a deep double, and Paxton Burzell hit a home run in the fifth to give Laguna a 6-1 lead.
Plowden pitched three innings, Mackay two innings and Naess the final inning.
Laguna suffered its first loss when Newport Beach scored the game's lone run in the bottom of the sixth to pull out a 1-0 win. Burzell pitched a solid, 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball and was backed by outstanding fielding by Frith, Naess, Ryan Magers, and Lavin and Payne, who shared catching duties.
Payne and Gavin Trevino singled for Laguna, which couldn't score in the game despite putting a runner on third base in four different innings.
Laguna played an elimination game against Irvine on Wednesday. The score wasn't available at press time. The winner of Wednesday's game advanced to play in another elimination game at 10 a.m. Saturday.
"The kids are playing total team ball with every game being extremely clean baseball," Laguna Manager Coby Naess said. "The defense and pitching are carrying us. We've managed to score some runs with aggressive base running and clutch, timely hitting.
"The focus on this team is extraordinary and it leads to solid defense. The 1-0 loss to Newport Beach was one of the best defensive and pitching performances in a Little League game I have ever seen. This group of kids is fun to be around."
9/10 All Stars: Paxton Burzell, Caden Capobianco, Connor Fink, Booker Frith, Luke Lavin, Ryan Magers, Jamie Mackay, Nolan Naess, Cooper Noriega, Jack Payne, Scotty Plowden, George Williams, Ryan Anthony, Gavin Trevino, Aidan McDennon. Manager: Coby Naess. Coaches: Dave Frith, Dana Mackay.
Laguna Beach 7, Northwood 6
Newport Beach 7, Laguna Niguel 5
Aliso Viejo 8, Lake Forest 2
Aliso Viejo 13, Rancho Niguel 3
Irvine 1, Laguna Hills 0
Lake Forest 11, Northwood 10
Newport Beach 1, Laguna Beach 0
Rancho Niguel 15, Laguna Hills 4
Lake Forest 7, Laguna Niguel 3
Aliso Viejo 1, Irvine 0
Irvine 7, Lake Forest 5
Laguna Beach 6, Rancho Niguel 3
Laguna split its first two tournament games.
In an opener Saturday at Woodfield Park, Manager Malcolm Gapp's team outscored Northwood, 22-18, in a game he said lasted four hours. Starting pitcher Nick Bonn threw four-plus innings in the win.
"Having 8- and 9-year-olds concentrate for 10 minutes is next to impossible," Gapp said. "But, keeping focused for four hours shows that these kids are true all-stars."
In its second game played Tuesday, Laguna lost, 14-10, to Newport Beach.
Laguna scored six runs in the sixth inning. The rally included solid hits from Maddox DeBretteville, Riley Gapp, Bonn and Ashten Rea. Noah Holm hit a line drive double to center for an RBI, and Ben Reimers tripled up the first base line to drive in two runs.
Laguna faced Irvine in an elimination game on Wednesday. The score wasn't available at press time. The winner advanced to a 7 p.m. game on Friday.
8/9 Superstars: Nick Bonn, Joey Capobianco, Maddox de Bretteville, Riley Gapp, Chase Hall, Noah Holm, Sam Hruby, Oliver Mackel, Griffin Naess, Ben Neufeld, Ashten Rea, Ben Reimers, Lucas Jablon, Jackson Sirianni, Max Burchi. Manager: Malcolm Gapp. Coaches: Chris Sirianni, Tom Reimers.