After two weeks of play, three local Little League All-Star teams survived and are moving on to Section 10 tournament play this weekend.
The Ocean View Little League (12-year-old) and 10/11 All-Stars, and the Huntington Valley 9/10 All-Stars, each kept their seasons alive by emerging as champions in the District 62 All-Star Tournament. Also claiming a division title was Westminster, which won two straight games in a championship series with Huntington Valley.
The Section 10 tournament begins Saturday for all four District 62 champions.
Little League (12-year-old) All-Stars
Ocean View is headed to the Section 10 Tournament after defeating Huntington Valley, 7-4, in the District 62 final July 7.
As it had in three previous tournament games, Ocean View seemed to be cruising to another big win in the final but saw Huntington Valley score four runs in the sixth inning to pull to within 7-4. Huntington Valley, however, could get no closer, as Ocean View relief pitcher Nick Pratto was able to close out the win.
Pratto also had a big day on offense. He gave Ocean View a 1-0 lead when his double in the opening inning scored Logan Pouelsen who had a lead-off single. He later hit a home run over the center field fence in the third inning.
In the second inning, Michael Gates' RBI double brought in Hunter Jackson who also had a lead-off single. Subsequent hits by Hagen Danner, Steven Gingery, Armando Duarte, Corey Hawk, Hunter Simmons and Pratto's homer, all between the third and fifth innings, allowed Ocean View to enjoy a 7-0 lead into the sixth.
Pouelsen started on the mound for Ocean View and threw three batters into the sixth before reaching his pitch limit. He gave way to Pratto who took over with the score at 7-1. Pouelsen threw a three-hitter and allowed just one walk.
Undefeated throughout the District tournament, Ocean View cruised to wins over Robinwood (13-0), Seaview (11-1) and Fountain Valley (16-0), before defeating Huntington Valley.
"We hit really well throughout the tournament," Ocean View Manager Tod Minato said. "In four games, I think our guys struck out just six times and our pitchers struck out more than 40. Our pitching was really tremendous throughout the tournament."
Ocean View takes its first step in the double-elimination Section 10 tournament Saturday against San Clemente National. The teams play at 10 a.m. at Tijeras Creek Little League in Rancho Santa Margarita.
"The key to our success at sectionals is to play to our potential," Minato said. "We have a good team and we've been playing well, but we are now going to be playing at the next level. We just have to maintain what we've been doing on both defense and at the plate."
The Ocean View Little League All-Stars are Hagen Danner, Armando Duarte, Michael Gates, Steven Gingery, Michael Green, Corey Hawk, Hunter Jackson, Chad Minato, Logan Pouelsen, Nick Pratto, Hunter Simmons and Luke Williams. The team is managed by Tod Minato and Coach Sean Pouelsen.
Ocean View took down Huntington Valley, 15-4, in the championship series in a July 7 game called after 3 ½ innings at Mile Square Park.
Huntington Valley held a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning but it was there that Ocean View took control.
Ocean View sent 17 batters to the plate to score 13 runs in the inning. One of the key hitters during the onslaught was Christian Catano. In his first of two at-bats in the inning, he singled with two out to drive in a couple of runs. In his second plate appearance, again coming with two out, his bases-loaded double brought in two more runs.
Starting pitcher Anthony Martinez went two innings and Trevor Windisch threw the top of the third for Ocean View.
"Our team is just real scrappy," Ocean View Manager Tony Cianca said. "Between some walks and hits, and Christian's two big hits, we were able to break the game open."
Ocean View went undefeated in district play. The road to the 10/11 division title included wins over Fountain Valley (18-3), Robinwood (12-0) and Huntington Valley (13-2 and 7-4).
Ocean View begins Section 10 All-Star play Saturday against District 68 champ South Mission Viejo. Game time is 1 p.m. and the double-elimination tournament is at Westminster Little League.
The Ocean View 10/11 All-Stars are Eric Anderson, Christian Catano, Justin Cianca, Jack Furry, Steven Kotkosky, Anthony Martinez, Dylan Palmer, Braydon Salzman, Ryo Takada, Noah Willis and Trevor Windisch. The team is managed by Tony Cianca and Coach Jose Martinez.
Saturday's game is a rematch between the two leagues, Tony Cianca said. Last year, at the 9/10 division level, Cianca coached the Ocean View All-Star team that defeated South Mission Viejo en route to the Section 10 championship. Cianca said that Anderson, Catano, Justin Cianca, Kotkosky and Anthony Martinez, were members of that 9/10 squad.
"First and foremost, the kids on our team are great teammates and great sportsmen. Second, they are great ballplayers. That's what I'm proud of most about this group," Tony Cianca said. "These guys have great chemistry and camaraderie. I think that's what carried us through district and hopefully it carries us through the Section tournament."
The 9/10 district banner was won by Huntington Valley. In the division's championship series game played July 7, Huntington Valley defeated Ocean View, 10-5, to sew up the title.
"I'm extremely proud of the way these kids came together as a team," Huntington Valley Manager Scott Glascoe said. "Each of these 13 players, each a star on their own teams during the regular season, came together as a unit. It just wasn't one player who contributed – it was 13 players who had a hand in our success. Everyone contributed in one way or another in each game. That's what made this team a lot of fun to watch."
In the district final, Huntington Valley jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Two of those runs came in the second inning when Michael Marquez singled and scored on a double by Derek Cleland who went on to score on a single by Ethan Kemp. Two more runs came across in the third on a scoring rally that began with a ground rule double by Connor Sandford.
Jake Adams started on the mound for Huntington Valley and took a no-hitter into the bottom of the fourth inning when, Glascoe said, he "started to tire." It was in the fourth where Ocean View rallied behind a hit, a couple of walks, a hit batter and a two-out error, to forge a 4-4 tie. Undaunted, Ocean View came right back in the top of the fifth with a six-run outburst to take the lead for good at 10-5. Adams, Marquez, Davis Smith, Jared Henry and Sandford produced singles and Cleland and Luke Glascoe each had an RBI double in the inning.
"That's another thing about this team: when they got down at any point in a game, they came right back," Scott Glascoe said.
Marquez closed the game for Ocean View and allowed one unearned run in two innings.
Cleland went two for three with a pair of doubles, two RBI and two runs. Marquez went three for four and scored twice, Kemp was two for three with two RBI, Smith had a hit, two RBI and run scored, Sandford went two for four with a run and Glascoe doubled with two RBI and a run scored.
Huntington Valley's Werner Reither finished the tournament with a 1.000 batting average and on-base percentage, Scott Glascoe said.
In district play, Huntington Valley went undefeated with wins over Westminster (6-2), Seaview (3-0) and twice defeated Ocean View (11-7, 10-5).
Huntington Valley begins Section 10 tournament play at 11:30 a.m. Saturday against Tijeras Creek Little League. The double-elimination tournament is hosted by Aliso Viejo Little League.
The Huntington Valley 9/10 All-Stars are Jake Adams, Derek Cleland, Luke Glascoe, Chase Hanson, Austin Heberden, Jared Henry, Ethan Kemp, Michael Marquez, Josiah McCown, Werner Reither, Connor Sandford, Don Skolnick and Davis Smith. The team is managed by Scott Glascoe and coaches Tim Hanson and Robert Reither.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times