Youth Baseball: Velocity captures crown

CORONA DEL MAR — Velocity Sports Performance took it tough, the loss in the first game of the Newport Beach Little League AAA American League playoffs.

Losing to the Newport Hills 76 squad, 7-5, was not expected. Velocity was the top-seeded team and had not lost all season.

"I had eight kids who were crying," Velocity Manager Brent Overfelt said. "I think that was really what sharpened them up. I think they felt the pain, and they didn't want it to happen again."

They didn't let it happen again Saturday in the NBLL AAA Division championship game. On the league's "Super Saturday," Velocity got a super effort from pitchers Bradford Binder, Kieran Sidebotham and Cade Overfelt.

They combined on a one-hitter as Velocity won the title, 8-0, over CdM Yogurt at Lincoln Elementary.

Velocity finished the season 20-1-1. The reason for the team's success was simple to Binder.

"We have a good team and we all work together," said Binder, who allowed just one hit and one walk in his three innings on the mound.

Binder struck out eight before leaving the game three pitches shy of his 65-pitch limit.

"He came out and just set the tone, struck guys out," Brent Overfelt said. "He really put them on their heels quick ... It was a dilemma for me, because he's my catcher too. If I go over 40 pitches, I couldn't catch him. I decided to stick with him because he was going so well, and it ended up being the right call."

Sidebothom pitched the fourth and fifth innings, and Cade Overfelt closed out the game. Overall, Velocity recorded 14 of its 18 outs via strikeout.

"[Binder] pitched a gem today," CdM Yogurt Manager John McCarthy said.

He also got a big hit in the third inning. With Velocity up, 4-0, Binder crushed the first pitch he saw to the wall in right-center field. The hit scored Sidebotham and Overfelt, giving Velocity a 6-0 edge.

Brian Seaman's single to right scored Binder, and Velocity was rolling.

Sidebotham, Binder and Seaman were all two for three, while Richard Eusey added an RBI single for Velocity. Clay Lobel, Jaden Glenn, Charlie Levis, Hammer Hauck, Jack McKenna, Declan Pene and Jack Severson also contributed for the winners.

"The pitching was great," said Levis, the catcher. "Everybody did good, and when they were struggling they just came back. We only let three guys on base, so I think we did great."

Wes Carr had a first-inning single for CdM Yogurt (15-7), accounting for his team's only hit. William O'Sullivan and Mayan Ewert each drew walks for CdM Yogurt.

John Bethel, Hayes Wueste and Carr all pitched for CdM Yogurt, while Tommy Griffin, Patrick Turner, Dylan McCarthy, Derek Tague, Andrew Smith, Jacob Krantz and Marco Maleki also contributed.

Corona del Mar Yogurt also lost its first playoff game and had to play its way through the losers' bracket. They beat City National Bank twice to win the National League title and advance.

"We just had a phenomenal group of players and kids that just love baseball," John McCarthy said. "We never had a kid miss a game. They loved to compete."

Twitter: @mjszabo

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