Westchester wins Pacific Southwest Babe Ruth Regionalsby Andy Morales on Aug. 01, 2013, under Sports
Kino Sports Complex: July 27-31
Championship: Wednesday, July 31
Kino Memorial Stadium
Westchester 8, Tri Valley 7 (8)
The parents say Tri Valley and Westchester only play each other about once a year and it’s always at a Babe Ruth regional game. Well, if that is true, it must be one of the biggest games of the year considering the winner goes on and plays really well at nationals.
Tri Valley represents Northern California and Westchester is the Southern California representative. Tri Valley went on and won the Babe Ruth World Series two years ago after getting past Westchester but Westchester returned the favor last year and knocked Tri Valley out before going on to finish in third place at nationals.
This year, both teams were one hit away from losing in the semifinal round Tuesday night at the Kino Sports Complex and that one play scenario spilled over to the championship game held Wednesday night at the Kino Memorial Stadium.
Down by three runs after the second inning, Westchester battled back and tied it up in the bottom of the fifth but the tie did not last long after Tri Valley scored three runs in the top of the sixth to go up 7-4. Westchester went on and tied it back up in their half of the inning before winning it all with a single play in the bottom of the eighth.
Tri Valley loaded the bases in the top of the first inning on three straight walks but Ulysses Perez was able to find the strike zone and held Tri Valley to only one run. Meanwhile, Riley Moore benefited from double plays in the bottom of the first and second innings to help keep Westchester off the base paths.
Moore helped himself out with a double in the top of the second and then Chris Moussa reached on a hit-by-pitch with one out. Perez induced a pop up to get the second out but he issued a walk to Rocky Moore to load the bases again.
Reggie Castro came in to pitch for Westchester but Mitch Briggs welcomed him to the mound with a 2-RBI single to right field to put Tri Valley up 3-0.
Westchester broke through in the bottom of the third on an error that allowed Carlos Jacobo to reach and then Grant Craddolph singled to put two runners on with no outs. Jacobo scored on a wild pitch and Cristian Amador reached on an infield hit. Craddolph scored on a passed ball to make it 3-2 but Riley Moore picked up three quick outs after walking Castro.
Tri Valley extended their lead again on massive back-to-back doubles to the fence by Liam Steigerwald and Patrick Loughnane in the fifth inning but Westchester came back and scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth on a passed ball and an RBI single by Matthew Kanfer.
With the game tied at 4-4, Tri Valley appeared to put the game away in the top of the sixth after they scored three runs on consecutive hits from Rocky Moore, Briggs, Steigerwald and Loughnane.
Running out of innings and time, Westchester needed something to happen quickly in the bottom of the sixth and Lawrence Gilliam provided that spark with a lead-off double in the bottom of the sixth.
AJ Inatsugu reached on a bunt that was mishandled to score Gilliam. Jacobo singled in Inatsugu and Craddolph hit an RBI double after Tri Valley switched pitchers. Mike Podany gave up the one double but then settled down to retire three batters in a row to keep things tied up at 7-7.
Westchester ace Jay Sterner came in and took control of the seventh and eighth innings and Tri Valley could only manage one base runner over their last eight batters against him.
Sterner led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and Anthony Chavez reached on another hit-by-pitch to put two runners on but Podany fielded a bunt and threw out Sterner at third base to shift momentum. Westchester took themselves out of position to put the game away after they hit into another double play.
Jacobo singled to start the bottom of the eighth but a strike out and a fielder’s choice on a grounder by Amador appeared to take Westchester out of another winning opportunity but Amador was able to move to second base on the play and he would score the winning run after Perez forced an error on his grounder up the middle .
For his efforts over the past week, Sterner was recognized as the tournament’s most valuable player. Likewise, Loughnane earned MVP honors for his performance for Tri Valley.
Westchester will now play in the 2013 Babe Ruth Baseball 13-15 World Series to be held in Loudoun County, Virginia from August 17-24. Although the Pacific Southwest representative will have the first day off at the tourney, Westchester will play a double header on August 18 against Ohio Valley and Southeast.
The team from Guam earned the Sportsmanship Award and the All-Tournament Team was announced:
Matt Kanfer, Westchester
Jay Sterner, Westchester
Patrick Loughnane, Tri Valley
Mitch Briggs, Tri Valley
Matt Baker, IR Dirtybirds
Jake Engel, IR Dirtybirds
Derek Daly, IR Dirtybirds
Chase Huff, Taylorsville
Matt Coyle, Kino-Tucson Bobcats
Garrett Tanner, Kino-Tucson Bobcats
Sterner and Gilliam will be headed to Minnesota on Saturday to take part in the RBI World Series to be held in Minneapolis.
The Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series will be hosted by the Minnesota Twins this year. It is an effort by the MLB and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to promote and increase participation in baseball.
Westchester wore the initials, “RAW” on their sleeves to honor the late Richard Allen Webb. Webb, who passed away in 2010, spent the last seven years of his life almost singlehandedly rebuilding the Babe Ruth fields in Westchester.
A complete CD of all 700 photos of the Babe Ruth Regionals can be purchased for $60. Email requests to firstname.lastname@example.org