Postseason ends for two La Jolla Youth Baseball teams

Sterling Hayes' home run trot. Photo by Eric Brown

La Jolla Bronco 11s postseason run ends

The La Jolla Bronco 11’s postseason run finally came to an end in the Western Zone tournament in Walnut near Los Angeles. The team had already won two championship banners in the first two rounds and finished as the runner-up out of 16 teams at the Southern California Super Regional tournament in Whittier.

At the Western Zone, the team was one of eight playing for a trip to the Bronco 11s World Series in Virginia. The team won their first game against Orangecrest, 10-8. Carson Greene pitched another strong game to lead La Jolla. Noah McBride got the scoring started with a three-run homer and Sterling Hayes added two home runs for La Jolla. Orangecrest battled back to tie the game 8-8 but La Jolla was able to score two late runs to secure the victory.

Next the team played Torrance American, a team they had beat in the Super Regional tournament in Whittier. It was a hard fought battle that saw Torrance win 11-7. Another game immediately followed under the lights against Charter Oak. The bats went quiet and the Bronco 11s suffered a disappointing post-season ending loss. Torrance American won the Western Zone and advanced to the World Series.

Despite the loss, the boys held their heads high knowing they had played toe-to-toe with the best teams in the West and notched victories against many of them, including Torrance American, the team that will represent the West Zone in the World Series.

“Our pitching was great,” coach Dave Hammel said. “But to have great pitching results, you have to make great plays in the field. And we did. And I can tell you that we were one of the highest scoring teams in the tournament.”

Hammel lead the team to to a 10-5 record in tournament play and he did it while getting playing time for each and every player every game.

“Every boy should be proud of the fact that they turned into a true team unit, and that is why we all had this success, “ Hammel said.

The La Jolla Youth Baseball season, which began way back in February, finally came to a close for a special group of 11 year-olds.

Post-season run ends for La Jolla Shetland team

La Jolla’s Shetland All-Star team’s World Series run finally came to an end at West Covina last Saturday.

The 6-year-olds put up an incredible effort playing games against teams favored to win it all. It all started Friday (July 22) against a heavily favored Whittier ball club. La Jolla fell behind 5-0 in the first inning then 7-0 in the third. The team staged another dramatic comeback to make it 7-4 going into the bottom of the fourth and nearly came back with runners on base in the bottom of the fourth. However, their rally came up short. Miscues in the final inning resulted in a 17-4 defeat.

Saturday the team played a doubleheader against Simi Valley and then against defending World Series champion and host team West Covina in the second game.

They did not fair well, losing 10-0 to Simi Valley then 8-0 to West Covina. Though the team hit the ball well, they faced strong defensive teams and came up short. The games were played back to back in 90-degree heat.

“These boys did give it their all and they went down fighting,” coach Michael Solis said. “These kids gave it their all and we’re all so proud of them.”

With the season now over, here are the team’s accomplishments:

— First La Jolla Shetland All-Star team ever assembled.

— Won the 2011 Southern California Southwest Region Shetland Championship in Fallbrook.

— Was the top team in San Diego County.

— Qualified for the Shetland World Series held in West Covina.

— Was the first team ever to reach the World Series from La Jolla Shetland.

— Played a total of 10 games with an overall record of 6-4.

— Lasted longer than all other La Jolla youth All-Star teams in post-season play.

— The team was led by manager Michael Solis,assistant coaches Ron Crater,Walter Birnbaum and Charles Hartford.