Another busy Saturday for Walnut all-star teams playing PONY sanctioned tournaments. One team was eliminated, 1 lost but is still alive and three others continued winning.
The Shetland 5U team started pool play at the West Zone Shetland-5 World Series with bad game against a powerhouse Hart team, losing 20-1. They played a lot better during the second game but came up just short to Santa Rosa, 9-7. The will play in the tournament on Sunday morning needing to beat Whittier first then Santa Rosa to get to the championship game, also on Sunday.
The Pinto 7’s won their second game in a row Saturday, beating East Long Beach, 7 to 4, at the Pinto 7U Super Region pool play. They have one more pool game on Sunday against Newbury Park. Only the top 2 teams in each pool advance to the tournament play later in the day and on Monday. Walnut hasn’t clinched one of those top two seeds yet but is very close.
In Moreno Valley at the Pinto Super Regions, Walnut’s 8U team kept their hopes alive by winning both games on Saturday. The morning game was against familiar foe, West Covina Red. Runs were scored almost every at bat and West Covina held a 7 to 5 lead in the bottom of the 5th inning with two outs and the bases loaded. That’s when Paul Montoya crushed a 2-strike pitch into the left field/center field gap that kept rolling, scoring all Walnut runners including Montoya for a grand slam inside-the-park home run. Walnut then held on in the 6th inning to win 9-8. Walnut next faced Anaheim in the afternoon game. It was a low scoring game kept close by Walnut pitchers Matthew Cons, Noah Campa and Montoya, who combined to allow 2 runs and only walk one batter all game, a remarkable feat for that age group. Sebastian Oliva singled in the bottom of the 5th inning to bring in the tying run and then scored the final go ahead run on a passed ball. Anaheim failed to score in the 6th inning and Walnut won 3-2. The 8’s have no games to spare and must win all three games on Sunday in order to advance to the West Zone World Series in San Jose. Their first game tomorrow is against East Long Beach at 11:15am.
Sal Rodriguez’s Mustang 10U all-stars also went up against one of West Covina’s top all-star teams on Saturday at the East Region tournament in West Covina. The 10’s got off to a big start and looked like the might come away with a mercy win by leading 14-2 going into the bottom of the 4th inning but West Covina made a game of it by scoring 6 runs and then 2 more in the fifth to make the score 14-10. Pitcher Matt Fernando held West Covina scoreless in the 6th and final inning and Walnut won by a final score of 16-10. Walnut’s Jaden Carbonell-Smith, Sean Matsubara and Chris Razo had huge days at the plate. Razo had 3 RBI’s, Carbonell-Smith went 3 for 4 with a double and Matsubara also went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI’s. Our 10U team will face San Gabriel, who are, so far, undefeated in sanction play, on Sunday at 3pm.
The Bronco 12U team was a scrappy team that wasn’t expected to do as well as they did. They made it through two tough tournaments, barely avoiding elimination on several occasions only to turn defeat into a win. Sadly they played their last all-star game on Saturday with a 12-7 loss to La Canada that eliminated them from the East Region.