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Cejudo helps propel Vaquero 11-12 All-Star team to District 16 title

GLENDALE — Handling the clean-up spot in the order doesn't appear to be a problem for Raymond Cejudo.

If there are runners on base, Cejudo is ready to drive them in with his powerful swing.

PHOTOS: 10-11 All-Star baseball championship

Cejudo had two hits and drove in four runs Tuesday night to lead the Vaquero Little League 11-12 Baseball All-Star team to an 11-4 win against Tujunga in the District 16 championship contest at Babe Herman Field.

"I don't feel like there's a lot of pressure because I have a good idea that I can hit the ball well most of the time," said Cejudo, who had a two-run double and a two-run home run in his first two plate appearances. "I know I just have to drive them in.

"It's pretty big to win [the championship] and we just have to keep on playing our best."

Vaquero, which never trailed, will next compete in the Section 2 Tournament. Vaquero will meet the District 51 champion in an opening-round contest at 5:30 p.m. Friday at West Lancaster Little League Field.

Cejudo, a second baseman, got things started for Vaquero in the first inning. Vaquero took a 1-0 lead on an error and Cejudo then hit a two-run double to make it 3-0.

"He's just a great asset to the team," said Vaquero Manager Trish Valenzuela-Wible, whose team finished with 11 hits. "He's also good at motivating the team by talking it up and encouraging his teammates to do better.

"We wanted and needed to win the championship. It shows that the Glendale area still has talent. We have some dominating hitters and they are very strong."

Vaquero received three hits from third baseman Isaac Samarripa and two from shortstop Geo Hernandez to turn back Tujunga.

Vaquero scored three runs in the second to pad its lead to 6-0. Saul Caninero scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-0. Cejudo then hit a line-drive home run to left field to extend the advantage to 6-0.

"It felt great to hit that home run," Cejudo said.

Tujunga scored a run in the second to trim the deficit to 6-1. Vaquero center fielder Andy Garcia threw out a runner at the plate with a perfect one-hop strike to Caninero.

Tujunga scored one run in the third and fourth to close to within 6-3. Vaquero then scored three runs in the fifth to make it 9-3. Samarripa led off with a double and scored on a double by Dario Quintana. A run-scoring double by Michael Lemus made it 8-3 and Lemus scored on an error to complete the scoring in the inning.

Samarripa hit a two-run home run to center with one out in the sixth to extend the advantage to 11-3. Tujunga scored a run in the sixth to wrap up the scoring.

"I'm happy that we could win the championship because it took a lot of hard work," said Hernandez, who scored three runs. "It's my first time playing on an all-star team."

Valenzuela-Wible said his group is eager to begin the Section 2 Tournament.

It will be another great experience for them," Valenzuela-Wible said. "We'll just try to keep at it and see what we can do."


Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich.

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