By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
There was no quit in any of the three Pacific Palisades Baseball Association All-Star squads in action at Pony sanction tournaments last weekend.
The Bronco 11U team toppedJohn Mendez 9-6 and host Torrance American 11-8 to earn a rematch with East Long Beach on Saturday, with the winner advancing to the loser’s bracket final of the District playoffs.
Pali trailed 3-0 until Brandon Bendel’s RBI single in the bottom of the third. Dylan Iwanyk hit an infield single to make it 3-2 and a fielder’s choice tied the game.
Pali trailed 4-3 in the fifth when Iwanyk blasted a two-run home run over the center field fence to give his team its first lead. East Long Beach tied it 5-5 in the top of the seventh and added four runs in the eighth. Pali staged a two-out rally in the bottom half, creeping closer on Jack Mitchell- Newall’s RBI single, but a ground out with the bases loaded ended it.
“We have a theme—that our baseball team is a family—and to the last out this team epitomized that,” head coach Don Camacho said. “I’m so proud that through the ups and downs this group stuck together. Last year we only won one game in sanctions. This year we came within a game of the Super Regionals.”
Rounding out the local 11U All-Stars were Quincy Watson, Owen Camacho, Jimmy Levy, Luke Connon, Jack Thomas, Hayden Prince, Owen Gutierrez, Max Meier, Sammy Dunn, Chander Desai, Beau Schinto, Brady Eng and Dashiel Dreher.
The 11Us finished 12-7-2.
Having battled through the District and Section tournaments, the PPBA’s Pinto 8U team found itself in the Region playoffs in East Long Beach and after falling to South Bay 15-7 in the first round of the double-elimination bracket, head coach Jason Wolsefer’s took on Redondo Sunset A Saturday needing a win to survive. Pali put up a fight but lost 4-0.
“This is a very resilient bunch of kids,” Wolsefer said. “The boys caught on really quick and made it all the way to Sectionals, only two rounds from the World Series. They love playing the game.”
The season is not over as the team (7-10-1) plays one more tournament in Encino next week.
The 8U roster was made up of James Holscher, Tommy Johnson, Charlie Thomas, Cade McCoy, Wyatt Wolsefer, Henry Hill, Becker Ludwig, Chase Harding, James Diederich, Miles Moore, Owen Gallagher, Rowan O’Donnell, Charlie Iwanyk, Flynn Gallagher, Liam Kamdar and Kian Vatanpour.
The Mustang 9U team opened the District playoffs in Torrance with a 13-2 blowout of Redondo Sunset, then suffered a narrow 8-7 loss to Torrance American to set up an elimination game versus Los Alamitos on Friday in the nine-team field. It was tied 4-4 until Los Alamitos plated 10 runs in the fourth and went on to win.
The PPBA 9U All-Stars (9-7-1) were comprised of Boone Casady, Ford Casady, Lars Refnes, Francis Conners-Schmid, Will Monaco, Finny Viles, Wyatt Foster, Tribe Edwards, Wesley Newmann, Duke Badt, Sean Gilhooly, Emilio McCann, CJ Gamradt, Colton Nassour and Lukas Lin.
“These players gave me memories that will last a lifetime,” head coach Eric Foster said. “I’m seeping with gratitude. It felt like we were together a lot longer than five or six weeks.”
The Mustang 10Us open the District 2 playoffs Saturday while the Bronco 12Us host the Section Tournament July 10-16.