Area stars shooting for repeat success

As coach of Warren Printing, Mike Vinceri watched his team slug its way to the District 16 Major Baseball Tri-Cities championship in June. As coach of the District 16 Crescenta Valley Major Baseball All-Star Team, he's looking for a similar pattern to continue in July.

Some of the players from Warren Printing will be a part of Crescenta Valley's squad, leaving Vinceri eager to see if the offense will continue its torrid hitting.

"It will be interesting seeing if the bats do come alive again, but you are also now facing tougher competition," said Vinceri, whose team will look to repeat as tournament champion. "We pitch solid and play good defense.

"We have a solid core and it's a pleasure coaching a group of talented players."

The double-elimination all-star tournaments will begin in earnest across numerous diamonds in the area. The 9-10 and Major divisions will start Thursday, while Junior play will begin Friday and 10-11 games will begin Saturday. The winner of each division will advance to the Section 2 Tournament on July 14.

The 9-10 bracket will feature a pair of games Thursday with Tujunga, the defending champion, meeting Vaquero at 5 p.m. at Pacific Park. That will follow with Crescenta Valley against Foothill at 7:30. The Tujunga-Vaquero winner will meet Burbank at 5 p.m. Friday at Pacific Park and Crescenta Valley or Foothill will take on Jewel City-Jewish War Veterans at 7:30 at Pacific Park. A championship contest will start at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Babe Herman Field and an if-necessary championship game would take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Babe Herman Field.

Foothill Manager John Calvo said a high level of pitching will probably determine the champion in the 9-10 Division.

"It's always going to come down to pitching," Calvo said. "You know going in that CV teams are well-prepared.

"We are hungry. We've been practicing every other day."

The Major Division will begin Thursday with Foothill meeting Jewel City/Jewish War Veterans at 5 p.m. and Tujunga facing Vaquero at 7:30 at Tujunga Little League Fields. Foothill or Jewel City/Jewish War Veterans will next take on Burbank at 5 p.m. Friday at Montrose Park and Crescenta Valley will meet Tujunga or Vaquero at 7:30 at the same site. The championship contest will be played at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Babe Herman Field and an if-necessary championship game would take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Babe Herman Field.

The three-team 10-11 Division will include Foothill, Crescenta Valley and Burbank. Crescenta Valley, which captured the tournament last season, and Burbank will meet in an opening-round game at 2 p.m. Saturday at Montrose Park with the winner taking on Foothill at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Montrose Park. The championship contest will begin at 6 p.m. Monday at Scholl Canyon Ball Fields and an if-necessary title game will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Scholl.

The Junior Division will consist of four teams, including defending champion Crescenta Valley, Tujunga, Burbank and Foothill-Jewel City/Jewish War Veterans. Crescenta Valley will take on Tujunga in an opening-round game at 7 p.m. at Scholl, preceded by Burbank against Foothill-Jewel City/Jewish War veterans at 5 p.m. at the same location. The title contest will start at 6 p.m. Monday at Scholl and an if-necessary championship contest would take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Scholl.

Dave Ritchie, the district's volunteer administrator, said some of the divisions may be wide open.

"When you start combining teams, you never know what will happen," Ritchie said. "The All-Stars are bigger in terms of participation and it's always interesting to see how the teams will do.

"I think the one division that will be interesting to see what happens is the Juniors. A team like Burbank might have the edge."

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