NHBA in title game

The Newport Harbor Baseball Assn. Mustang All-Stars appeared to be against great odds Saturday at Placentia Champions Sports Complex.

The NHBA All-Stars needed a win to advance to the championship game of the Pony Bronco Southern California Central Region Sectional. It would have to come against Irvine A, which had beaten NHBA twice earlier in the season.

However, the NHBA All-Stars of 9-year-olds didn't let that stop them as they scored a 9-4 victory to earn a spot in Monday's final. The win also gave NHBA a berth into the super regional tournament. It is believed to be the first time, an NHBA Mustang team has earned a super regional berth.

Pitchers Luc Stuka and AJ Stefano were solid for NHBA, while Finn Springston, Clay Liolios, Hayden Schott and Alex Kormeluk produced excellent plays.

Dayne Chalmers and Sean Waterman contributed in the outfield. The NHBA All-Stars had nearly everyone in the order recording a hit.

Ethan Barnes started a rally with a shot up the middle. Peyton Jefferson took one to deep right to drive in the tying run. Aggressive baserunning also helped NHBA win.

The NHBA All-Stars edged Placentia, 6-4, with a remarkable comeback Friday.

Johnny Olmstead and Schott provided great pitching. NHBA started slow, and trailed, 4-0, after five innings. In the sixth, the NHBA All-Stars rallied as Stefano, Olmstead, Schott, Springston, Caleb Ricketts and Kormeluk all crossed the plate.

Stuka took one to the fence to drive in the last run.

The NHBA All-Stars opened the tournament with a 9-3 win over Irvine B Thursday night. Stuka and Stefano each pitched three innings with stellar defensive support.

NHBA Manager Lamar Jefferson and coaches Robert Stefano and Scott Liolios have showed confidence in their players and they remain confident heading into Monday's final.

— Reader Submission

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