La Jolla Youth Baseball poised for second half of season

La Jolla Youth Baseball players Jake Bold and Nathan Latimer exchange congratulations following their Mustang game. Jake’s team Qualcomm may have defeated Nathan’s team RAK, but the highlight of the day was Nathan’s home run over the left field fence. It was the first of the season at LJYB.
La Jolla Youth Baseball players Jake Bold and Nathan Latimer exchange congratulations following their Mustang game. Jake’s team Qualcomm may have defeated Nathan’s team RAK, but the highlight of the day was Nathan’s home run over the left field fence. It was the first of the season at LJYB.

By Tom Murphy,

La Jolla Youth Baseball

Though unofficial, La Jolla Youth Baseball (LJYB) has two halves to its season. Between Opening Day and spring break, most of the coaches focus on development and moving players around as much as possible. In the older leagues, having a stable of pitchers for post-season play is key for a double-elimination playoff format. It’s a long-standing rule in Mustang and Bronco leagues that each team must throw four pitchers in a complete game (most leagues require three.)

After the week off for spring break, it will be fun to see where things stand and how different the second half plays out.

In the

Pony Division

, two LJYB teams participate in the 10-team San Diego Pony inter-league with nine ‘away’ games. Last year, a LJYB team won the championship at the Memorial Day tourney. To date, seven games have been recorded and the Aladdin team is tied for second place with a 4-3 record while Las Patronas in a three-way tie for third place with a 2-4 record.

Last week LP had an exciting game against Tecolote-Yankees at home. LP pitchers Cade Kronemeyer, Blaise Gimber and Carson Green held the Yankees to one run in five innings.

Closer Michael Campagna took a 4-1 lead into the seventh inning when a couple of bloop hits and a few bobbled balls quickly turned into 5-4 game with Las Patronas getting the last at-bat.

With two outs, Bobby Murphy drew a walk from an 0-2 count followed by a sharp single by Gimber. Coach Solis called a double steal to advance the tying run to third and the winning run to second.

On a 1-2 count, Murphy stole home on the pitch. In spite of a balk that went unnoticed, a high throw to the plate resulted in a collision and the runner was called out in a bang-bang play. Game over — Yankees win but in an exciting go-for-it finish. That’s Pony baseball.

The

Bronco Division

also plays home and away games with Tecolote and Mission Bay. Pharmatek has posted a 4-3-1 record that appears to lead the LJYB teams.

With a few games to be posted, Mitch’s Surf Shop, Morgan Stanley and Performance Titanium teams have similar records and remain competitive among the 12 extramural teams.

photo
La Jolla Youth Baseball players Jake Bold and Nathan Latimer exchange congratulations following their Mustang game. Jake’s team Qualcomm may have defeated Nathan’s team RAK, but the highlight of the day was Nathan’s home run over the left field fence. It was the first of the season at LJYB.

With 114 kids on 10 teams, the

Mustang Division

is bursting with activity. It has a competitive group of coaches and there have been a number of wild games already.

Mustang President Cindi Stratton introduced a new concept this season that focused on pitcher development: Every team plays five games with the fourth inning dedicated to throwing a “rookie” pitcher who wanted to give it a try. Wonderful things came of it and the five- run rule keeps the game moving along.

With eight games posted, Garden Communities, Sector 9 and Qualcomm teams each have six wins. The rest of the league is separated by only a few games and the second half is wide open. Keep in mind that everyone makes the playoffs so the most they play for in the regular season is bracket seeding and bragging rights.

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