Playoffs are under way for La Jolla Youth Baseball and, for some, the season has already ended. Such is the bittersweet ending to single-elimination playoff brackets. One-and-done for some. Of course LJYB always has its fair share of upsets and nail-biters.
As usual, the Bronco playoffs generated excitement, especially the elimination game between the North Coast Dermatology “Lasers” and Souza & Souza Construction, which went into extra innings thanks to a three-run Laser rally to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh and postponed in the ninth because of darkness.
The two teams completed the game two nights later and the Lasers again battled back from a four-run deficit with two-outs in the bottom of the ninth to steal the victory from Souza & Souza with a clutch hit by Christophe Gish to win the game. The Lasers stayed on the field to face the undefeated No. 1-seeded Bulldogs of Simpson, Delmore & Greene, making their first playoff appearance. SDG was stymied by strong pitching from Daniel McColl, Nick Barber, Maxwell Hyytinen and Conor Harrison in an 11-2 shellacking. In the other side of the bracket, the On the Inside Design team got past the pesky Aladdin Bail Bonds team to advance to the championship game. The “Insiders” were a scoring machine all season, averaging 15 runs per game and losing only to SDG.
On Championship Saturday, the Lasers’ Cinderella story continued through five innings before the Insiders broke the 6-4 game open with their trademark power. Carson Greene, Austin Caulk, James Shimishita and Ben Wintringer led the team to a 12-7 victory with their pitching and hitting. Following the trophy ceremony and in LJYB-style, both teams got together for a post-game BBQ to celebrate an excellent finish to their Bronco season.
Mustang playoffs started Saturday with four games. Fifth seed Voices for Children defeated fourth seed StepStone in the morning game. Top seed Morgan Stanley continued their perfect record, easily handling eighth seed So Cal Ideas 15-2. In the afternoon games, No.2 seed Cass St. narrowly defeated seventh seed Mission Imprintables to avenge one of their two losses in the season. In the final game of the day, No. 3 seed Care Drugs broke an 8-8 tie game in the last inning to defeat sixth seed First Choice with Robert Rowland stealing home for the winning run. The “Mustang Play of the Week” was Care Drug’s Daniel Massaad making a Willie Mays-esque over-the-head catch to kill a First Choice rally in the fourth inning. In the semifinals, Voices for Children faced Morgan Stanley on Monday and Cass Street squared off against Care Drugs on Tuesday. The championship game was played on Wednesday.
In Pinto — where anything is possible — top seed Jeff Lang Homes’ Aviators played No. 4 seed Scoma Pediatric Dentistry on Monday and 6th seed Harry’s Coffee Shop played No. 7 seed Mitch’s Surf Shop on Tuesday to fill out the semifinal brackets. The “Pinto Play of the Week” was Cole Harrison’s grab of a long fly ball with the tying run on base to end the game and preserve an 11-10 win over Baxter.
The championship game was played on Wednesday.
—Tom Murphy, LJYB