Spring break means one thing for La Jolla Youth Baseball: Games on!
By Tom Murphy
La Jolla Youth Baseball
Every team makes the playoffs in La Jolla Youth Baseball. How teams prepare for the end of the season is as different as the 37 coaches we have in our league. Some develop more pitchers and catchers all season, while others move players all around the defensive positions to make sure improvement is the goal.
Then there are teams that insist on winning every game and depend on the same core group of stars to control the outcome.
No matter the philosophy, spring break marks the second half of the season and teams tend to turn up their competitive juices. For the next four weeks — or 10 games for most teams — it’s game on in LJYB!
The Pony division has two teams this season, down from three in 2012. To make the schedule interesting and challenging, LJYB joined forces with Pony teams in Tecolote, North City, Mission Bay, Mira Mesa and Emerald in El Cajon.
This San Diego Pony Inter-League consists of 11 teams who schedule home-and-away games that really mixes up the format in a very good way.
Daniel McColl and Nick Hammel joined forces to hit home runs in the same game that brought in seven runs between them. LJYB’s teams are in first and second place at the moment following a fun pitcher’s duel last Sunday.
Coach Steve Mariucci’s Team Aladdin edged Coach John McColl’s On the Inside Design team by a 2-1 score that lasted barely 90 minutes. The best part of the game may have been the post-game BBQ organized by Pony President Greg Hansen that brought together all of the Pony families. The BBQ lasted longer than the game!
With four teams in Bronco this season, Bronco President Neil Hyytinen took a page from the Pony teams and organized an interesting mix of home-and-away games with six teams from Tecolote and two teams from Mission Bay. Going into the break, Alexandria had the best record, and Coach Campagna had to overcome injury and thin rosters along the way. Bob Meyerott is managing Morgan Stanley again and his roster looks solid.
Rick Macdonald is managing the Mitch’s Surf Shop team and they are having a lot of fun so far, as is Coach Tim Scott’s Pharmatek team. Matteo Woods and Matt Stone have joined the Homer’s Alley ranks recently with round-trips at the Mission Bay field.
Mustang President Geoff Longenecker has a fun problem this season with nine teams to schedule 18 games, which is no easy feat. That is three more teams than in 2012 in Mustang.
So far, Sector 9 has an unblemished record and Coach Klimkiewicz cheered them on as they came roaring back in the bottom of the 6th to win the last game before the break. Kudos to Coach MacLean and his team B of A Home Loans. They had a bye last week and the whole team attended an SDSU Aztec baseball game. Before the game they were invited on the field to warm up with the team and they lined up on the chalk with the Aztec players for the National Anthem.
The Pinto league is full with ten teams and the first month of the season is truly pre-season for these players. Games weren’t posted until last week, so the best record to date are 2-0 and are shared by SD Pools, Rotary Club and RBC. The second half of the Pinto season is guaranteed to be action packed and President Jim Butler predicts a wild finish. Right before the break, Jack Stahl of RBC hit the 1st home run in Pinto this season, knocking in 2-runs for his team.
Scott Murfey is leading the charge as Shetland President and they have organized their 12 teams into two groups of Majors and Minors. This allows coaches and teams to focus on more age-appropriate practices and games. The crop of managers in Shetland includes a number of parents who grew up playing in LJYB and are enjoying their nostalgic return to the Cliffridge fields with their sons and daughters in tow.
Around town, more exciting things are going on. Bronco star Michael Campagna Jr. was recently named to the national 12U TEAM USA – congrats Michael! Sheltand’s Hank Hansen won an autographed Nolan Ryan Texas Rangers jersey at the “LJYB Day the the Brickyard Cages” last Sunday. Over 100 players and parents turned out to tune up before the season resumed on Monday. On Friday, April 19th, LJYB will have a contingent of players and families at Petco Park to cheer for the La Jolla High School varsity baseball team as they square off against Point Loma. On Sunday, April 28th, LJYB is expected to send over 300 players and parents to PONY Day at Petco as the Padres face off against the SF Giants. The players will be allowed to march on the field before the game starts. Tickets can be purchased online at www.LJYB.org
- Time change ushers in full game-schedule and home runs for La Jolla Youth Baseball
- La Jolla Youth Baseball prepares for 2013 Season
- La Jolla Youth baseball signup underway
- La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club readies for National Over 40 Hard Court Championships
- LJYB back in the swing of things
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