The Newport Beach Little League 8/9 American All-Star team played for the District 55 championship last weekend against Aliso Viejo.
The team had an amazing run leading up to the championship game playing seven games in nine days and winning five of those games to reach the final. Over the course of the seven games the NBLL and its potent offense manager to score 82 runs and posted 70 combined hits.
The championship game started off with excellent pitching and stifling defense from both teams. With Peter Vanis on the mound for NBLL mixing it up with his fast ball and signature slider he was able to cool the bats of the undefeated Aliso Viejo team.
Vanis faced seven batters in the first two innings giving up only one hit and forced pop-ups and ground balls. In the top of the third inning with the game scoreless the NBLL bats started to heat up.
Calder Overfelt ripped a single to left field followed by Van Sidebotham who lined a single to center. John Tipton then drew a walk to load the bases. Charlie Mannon stepped in with a single to Right Field scoring two runs and Vanis followed with another shot to left field to clear the bases.
Hudson Bond then stepped to the plate and belted another single which scored Vanis. Suddenly the NBLL team were up, 5-0 heading into the fifth.
The bottom of the third started with a quick out and then the Aliso boys began to put the pressure on. Despite an amazing diving catch in left field by Ryan Schafer for the second out, the Aliso team managed to put up 10 runs in the bottom of the third on a combination of hits and fielding miscues by the NBLL defense.
The 10 runs proved to be too much for the NBLL boys to overcome. NBLL battled back for the next several innings but would fail to score again in the game and finished as runner-up in the tournament.
The NBLL American All-Stars began their tournament on June 28 with a 20-13 win over Lake Forest's B team. The NBLL team combined for 17 hits in the game, six of which were for extra bases and had several players with three-plus hits in the game.
A quality start on the mound by Mannon followed by great pitching from Overfelt and Tipton helped the team advance.
The following day NBLL played Northwood's A team and won on a mercy rule, 11-1. Mannon and Tipton combined in the game to allow only one run scored and only gave up one hit between them in fiveinnings. Mannon struck out seven batters and Tipton struck out four.
The offense was once again in full force combining for nine hits.
By winning their first two games the boys were moving through the winners bracket and then faced Aliso Viejo for their third game. They fell short and lost, 15-4. This put them in the second-chance bracket and forced them to play almost daily moving forward. This is where the boys began their road to the championship.
Some noteworthy individual highlights for the tournament are as follows:
Tyler Duss: Collected nine hits which including a three-run home run and an had on-base percentage of .592 with 14 runs scored.
Calder Overfelt: Collected 11 hits with several for extra bases and scored 15 runs.
Van Sidebotham: Collected 19 hits in 24 at bats with 11 of them for extra bases.
John Tipton: Collected 10 hits and had an on-base percentage of .576.
Charlie Mannon: Boasted an ERA of 2.1 over the tournament.
— Reader submission