Summer of local thrills and titles

GLENDALE — With the grind of having to play numerous games throughout an exhausting two-month stretch, many local Little League baseball and softball teams took to fields across the region and state in their quest to win championships.

With plenty of fine pitching and hitting performances, several teams went on to win District 16 championships and advance to the Section 2 Tournament. A softball team reached the Division III Tournament.

None of the area's Babe Ruth baseball squads were able to reach the World Series. The Arroyo Seco Saints, a Palomino baseball team featuring current and former St. Francis High players, advanced to the championship game of the Southern California Regional Championship and punched their ticket into the West Zone Regional in Compton.

The following is a recap of the area's Little League season:


The La Crescenta 13-year-old squad opened the state tournament with a 15-3 win against Heartwell before suffering a 9-5 loss to El Segundo. La Crescenta was eliminated with a 7-5 loss against Torrance.

The La Crescenta 14-year-old team advanced to the if-necessary championship game of the state tournament at Stengel Field. It started with a 13-2 win against Heartwell, but then dropped a 12-2 decision to eventual-champion Westchester. La Crescenta regrouped with a 3-2 win against Heartwell in an elimination game and then posted an 8-2 victory against Westchester in the championship contest. La Crescenta saw its season conclude with an 11-3 loss to Westchester in the if-necessary title game.

In the 15-year-old competition, La Crescenta staved off elimination twice before reaching the if-necessary championship contest against Torrance. La Crescenta picked up an 11-1 win against Simi Valley in an elimination game to reach the championship. In the championship contest, La Crescenta netted a 3-0 win before suffering a 4-0 loss to Torrance in the if-necessary game.

There were numerous local ties involving the 16-18 team that was based in the San Gabriel Valley, which was piloted by Crescenta Valley High Coach Phil Torres and featured several Crescenta Valley High athletes.

In the state tournament, San Gabriel Valley recorded an 8-5 win in a semifinal contest against North San Gabriel Valley at Arcadia High. It then cruised to a 9-0 win against North San Gabriel Valley in the championship tilt to advance to the Pacific Southwest Regional in Watsonville.

In Watsonville, San Gabriel Valley opened with a loss against Watsonville before bouncing back to net a 7-3 victory against Modesto. Needing to win four games in two days, San Gabriel Valley responded with a 2-0 victory against Northern California and then registered a 9-1 victory against Central California to reach the championship game.

However, San Gabriel Valley, which advanced to the World Series last season, saw its run end with a 10-2 loss to Watsonville.


The Arroyo Seco Saints, featuring St. Francis High players AJ Berglund, David Hubinger and Mark Saatzer and coached by Golden Knights assistant Aaron Milam, played a 40-game season that culminated in them advancing to the West Zone Tournament at MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton. The Saints finished their season at 30-9-1.

After going 26-6-1 during the regular season, the Saints won three of their four games at the Southern California Regional at Jackie Robinson Field in Pasadena. The Saints suffered an 8-6 loss to the Colton Nighthawks in the championship game, but clinched an automatic berth to the West Zone Tournament.

Arroyo Seco opened the West Zone event with a 4-2 victory against the Ahwatukee Sting of Arizona before suffering a 9-4 loss to Colton. The Saints closed out their season with an 8-4 loss to the San Mateo White Sox in an elimination game in the eight-team tournament.


In the Minor Softball championship contest, The Vaquero City Girls came out with an 8-5 victory against the Crescenta Valley Mariners.

The Foothill Major Softball team fell to the top-seeded Burbank Lady Legends, 8-1, in the championship game. Foothill lost all eight meetings against Burbank.

Muir-Chase's Junior Softball squad forced an if-necessary championship game with a 6-4 win against the Burbank Diamonds. However, Burbank regrouped with an 11-6 win in the if-necessary contest.

Crescenta Valley's Foothill Minor Baseball team reached the championship game before falling,10-6, to the Burbank Angels.

The Crescenta Valley Gangi Builders suffered a 10-0 loss to the Burbank Bulldogs in the if-necessary championship game of the Major Baseball Tournament.

In the Junior Baseball competition, Kitchen Photography picked up a 7-6 win against the Vaquero Express to capture the championship.


Strong pitching from Scott Vinceri propelled Crescenta Valley to a 2-0 win against Burbank in the 9-10 Baseball title contest at Babe Herman Field. Vinceri struck out nine and scattered three hits to pick up the victory.

In the 10- and 11 Baseball Division, Crescenta Valley captured the championship with a 14-1 win against Burbank at Scholl Canyon Ball Fields.

The Crescenta Valley Junior Baseball team captured the championship under Phil Torres, whose team recorded 15 hits en route to a 15-1 win against Burbank at Scholl.

Crescenta Valley's Major Baseball team cruised to a convincing 10-0 win against Burbank at Babe Herman Field.

The Crescenta Valley Major All-Star softball team was on the wrong end of two District 16 tournament games, losing to Burbank, 14-11, and then 12-2, as Burbank claimed the district title at Scholl Canyon. In a continuation of a postponed game, CV loaded the bases and brought the winning run to the plate, down, 14-11, in the bottom of the sixth, but Burbank locked down the win. Burbank earned a 12-2 win in the championship game the next day.

Foothill's 10-11 All-Star softball team had no trouble with Crescenta Valley. Foothill began with a 23-6 win against CV before securing the championship with a 10-0 victory.

The Art Gamez-coached CV 9-10 Softball All-Stars, featuring Ally Lombardo, Jordan Hinkel and Camie Ellington, clinched a championship with a 12-1 win against Tujunga.

In the Junior Softball Tournament, Crescenta Valley began with a 9-5 win against Burbank. It then posted a victory against Burbank in the championship contest.


In the 9- and 10-year-old Baseball Tournament, Crescenta Valley advanced to the championship game with an 11-1 win against Quartz Hill. However, Crescenta Valley suffered a 8-4 loss to Quartz Hill, thus ending its campaign.

Crescenta Valley's 10- and 11-year-old baseball team didn't win a game in its tournament in Encino. Crescenta Valley began with an 8-6 loss to Encino before suffering a 7-6 defeat to Pasadena American.

The Junior baseball squad couldn't get out of its competitive tournament, as Crescenta Valley sustained an 11-3 loss to Encino at Scholl Canyon Ball Fields. Crescenta Valley's pitching staff struggled, evidenced by a 17-14 loss to San Marino in a winner's-bracket contest. Crescenta Valley opened the tournament with a 14-6 win against Palmdale.

Crescenta Valley reached the championship game of the Major Tournament in Sierra Madre. After staying alive with an 8-5 win against Quartz Hill, Crescenta Valley yielded seven home runs in a 13-4 loss to powerhouse Northridge.

The Foothill 9-10 softball team reached the Section 2 Tournament for the second consecutive year. Foothill opened with a 13-7 win against Sherman Oaks and then dropped a 15-7 loss against Quartz Hill. It regrouped to pick up a 6-4 win against Sherman Oaks before suffering an 8-7 loss to Quartz Hill in the championship game.

The 10-11 Foothill softball team kicked things off with a 9-3 win against San Fernando. It then was handed a 5-4 setback by Quartz Hill before pulling through with a 19-1 win against San Fernando. However, Quartz Hill ended Foothill's season with a 1-0 win in the championship contest.

The Crescenta Valley Junior softball team outscored its opponents, 43-10, en route to capturing the tournament in Canyon Country. Crescenta Valley began with a 29-4 win against Rosamond and then worked for a 7-6 win against Canyon Country to reach the championship game. Crescenta Valley then earned a 7-0 win against Canyon Country in the title contest.


Crescenta Valley's Junior Softball squad was the only local team to advance to the Division III Tournament. Crescenta Valley nearly advanced to the Regional Tournament, but fell short in its two opportunities to reach. Crescenta Valley fell to Victorville, 8-5, in the if-necessary championship contest in La Mesa.

In the championship game, Victorville posted a 10-8 win against Crescenta Valley. Crescenta Valley arrived on the doorstep of championship status by earning earlier tournament victories against San Bernardino and Victorville. It reached the championship game with an 8-3 win against Westchester.

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