La Jolla Youth Baseball heads into 2014 championships

By Tom Murphy

La Jolla Youth Baseball

Playoffs are Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Cliffridge Park. Win or go home. Pinto plays single elimination, while Mustang and Bronco prefer the double-elimination format.

In Pinto, Baxter Foundation finished the regular season on top led by manager Bob Uslander. SD Storage, CValdo and Voices for Children are bunched up for second place. RBS, Rotary Club, Cottage Insurance, Party City, Natural High and Red Door Interactive will all have a shot at the hardware. As Natural High manager Jon Graff said, “anything can happen in Pinto” — and upsets are the common.

Kinsey Casdin hit the only over-the-fence home run in Pinto. The crowd roared, as it did when “Solo” Weinstein got his first hit for Cottage Insurance. Natural High’s Van Sundt got a rousing applause with his big RBI. The Pinto Championship game is 9 a.m.

With 10 teams playing a double elimination format, Mustang got an early start with playoffs.

The secret is to stay in the winners bracket for four games and a championship. Lose a game at thy peril for it may take up to six games — and a lot of pitching — to claw back to the Saturday double header.

Top seeds have already been upset as Alexandria Real Estate learned the hard way in their opening game. The play of the season happened at the perfect time for No. 9 seed Merrill Lynch against No. 4 RAK. Underdog, Beastie Bulls, were protecting a 13-10 lead in the final inning but RAK had the bases loaded with no outs. The batter hit a line drive to Hunter Kates at shortstop, who steps on second base and relay to first — triple play! Game over and RAK heads to the losers bracket. (Base-running tip: Freeze on a line drive!)

Home runs at the end of the season were hit by Jacob Campagna, Nathan Latimer (leads LJYB with five, including a ‘Home Run Cycle’), Jackson Stratton (third), Jack Boynton and Johnny Leutzow. The Mustang Championship game is 9 a.m. with a possible double header.

In Bronco, Performance Titanium earned the top seed in their four-team double-elimination playoffs and played their first game on Monday against Mitch’s Surf Shop. Pharmatek squared off against Morgan Stanley on Tuesday. Last week, Marcus Scott had a ‘Double Dinger Day’ with a two-run homer followed by a grand slam for 6 RBIs in Pharmatek’s win against Morgan Stanley. He and Matt Stone led Bronco in HRs with three apiece. The Bronco Championship game will be played at 1 p.m. with a possible double header.

The Pony Division continues their regular season through this week. They will participate in the SD Pony Inter-League Playoffs next week with semi-final and Championship games being played at Tecolote during the Memorial Day Tournament. Both teams are in the middle of the pack with Aladdin posting an 8-8 record and Las Patronas trailing them with a 7-9 record. Jared Littlefield recently hit his second homer to tie Cary Perket with two apiece.