The 2004 Rotary team has officially gone into the Laguna Beach Little
League record book as having the most victories in a single season.
By defeating league rival the FireFighters, 13-2, and the San Juan
Capistrano Yankees, 6-3, in the opening round of the District 55
Tournament of Champions, Rotary notched its 23rd and 24th victories
of the season, the latter setting a new league single-season record.
The old record was 23 wins in a season, set also by a Rotary team
Laguna Beach Little League is in its 54th year.
Rotary’s record-setting team is composed of Will Bonsey, Michael
Hyden, Chris Lavery, Brett Linkletter, Michael Maxsenti, Michael
Niebuhr, Sawyer Pierce, Mikey Rubel, Raphael Vickers, Drew Wheeler,
Alex Wheeler, Sammy Witte, Manager Cary Hyden and coaches Dave Rubel,
Don Bonsey, Don Vickers, Michael Maxsenti and Don Niebuhr.
Rotary 13, FireFighters 2
Regular season Majors Division champion Rotary overcame a 1-0
third inning deficit to defeat the FireFighters and add the
division’s postseason tournament title to its resume.
The FireFighters took a 1-0 first inning lead despite not getting
a hit. The game was a pitcher’s duel for the first 2 1/2 innings, as
Rotary’s Michael Maxsenti didn’t allow a hit while the FireFighters’
Ian Greene allowed just a first inning single to Maxsenti.
In the Rotary half of the third, Chris Lavery singled home Sammy
Witte to tie the game, and Maxsenti gave his squad a lead it wouldn’t
relinquish by hitting a home run to straight-away centerfield to give
Rotary a 3-1 advantage.
Will Bonsey also doubled in the inning.
The FireFighters pulled to within 3-2 in the top of the fourth
when Brennan Mulvaney scored on Spencer Friedenrich’s single, but
Rotary took control by scoring five runs in the bottom-half of the
Drew Wheeler and Mikey Rubel each had an RBI single, Lavery had a
two-run single and Maxsenti knocked in a run on a sacrifice fly.
With two out in the fifth, Wheeler ripped a two-run triple down
the right field line and later scored on a wild pitch for an 11-2
Maxsenti closed out the scoring when his long single knocked in
Rotary 6, Yankees 3
Rotary jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one inning at Youth Sports
Park in Mission Viejo and rolled from there.
Chris Lavery singled, Michael Maxsenti walked and Will Bonsey beat
out a bunt for a single to load the bases, setting up Raphael
Vickers, who singled home two runs.
Michael Hyden followed with an RBI single to score two more runs
for a 4-0 lead.
After San Juan Capistrano had narrowed its deficit to 4-1, Rotary
went back to work on offense in the fourth.
Lavery lead off the inning with a towering home run. Maxsenti
followed with a hard-hit single and Bonsey ripped a double down the
third base line. The two scored on Yankee errors, but an interference
score wiped out the second run on the play, which left Rotary with a
The Yankees scored twice in the fifth inning, but could get no
closer. They did manage to load the bases in the sixth inning, but
Bonsey, pitching in relief of starter Raphael Vickers, recorded his
third strikeout of the inning to close out the win.
Vickers recorded seven strikeouts.
Bonsey and Hyden finished with two hits each.