Westchester Babe Ruth Teams Advance To Regional Championship
Westside Baseball’s Westchester Babe Ruth’s 15U and 14U teams have won their respective State Championships and each advance to the Pacific Southwest Regional Championships in Arizona.
Westchester Babe Ruth encompasses players from Culver City, Westchester, Hawthorne, Ladera, Inglewood, Playa del Rey, Santa Monica, Venice, and various areas in Los Angeles.
The 15U team, managed again by John Lopatto, bested Torrance in a doubleheader to win the State title. Last year, as the 14U representative, Westchester advanced to the World Series, finishing third overall.
This season’s team has 11 returning players from that World Series team. Westchester won the District title with a win over El Segundo in the title game. The 15’s then traveled to Torrance to face off against teams from Heartwell, Simi Valley, Torrance and La Crescenta.
After losing to La Crescenta in the opening round, Westchester fought its way through the loser’s bracket, winning three straight before matching up with Torrance in the finals. To advance, Westchester would have to beat Torrance twice in one night, at Torrance’s Kendall field.
Westchester jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the opening game behind the pitching and hitting of Jay Sterner. Sterner reached base three times in four plate appearances, scoring two runs. Catcher Anthony Chavez had a key three run double to give Westchester the 6-0 lead.
Torrance was not done, however, as it battled back for two runs off of Sterner in the sixth inning. Torrance then scored three times in the seventh, and had the bases loaded before Angel de la Torre came in and induced Torrance’s Casey Wissler to ground out to Westchester second baseman Christian Amador to end the game.
Westchester breezed in the second game against Torrance. Westchester scored a single run in the second inning as Carlos Jacobo plated L.J. Gilliam. Westchester broke the game open in the third scoring four, two on a home run by Sterner. Torrance couldn’t figure out Westchester pitchers del la Torre and Jacobo, who combined on a four hit shutout.
Westchester travels to Tucson for the Southwest Pacific Regional championships. Westchester faces Southern Utah on Saturday, followed by Northern Utah and host Kino-Tucson on Sunday, and Hawaii on Monday to complete pool play.
After losing to Torrance in the District championship 12-0, Westchester’s 14U team charged back beating El Segundo 16-2, and Torrance twice (5-0 and 10-4) en route to winning the District 2 championship. Westchester then advanced to the State final hosted in La Crescenta and Glendale.
After an easy victory of Simi Valley, Westchester faced off with host La Crescenta. Second baseman Justin Morris went four for four with three stolen bases and Nolan Martinez doubled twice to lead Westchester to an easy 8-0 victory. Saul Martinez, Kailin Woodard and Eli Saucedo combined for seven shutout innings in the victory.
On Sunday, Westchester traveled to Glendale to face La Crescenta in the title game, with a berth in the Pacific Southwest championship at stake. Westchester struck early with two runs in the first inning as Kelvin Murillo and Aaron Greenfield scored following a Saul Martinez single. Westchester scored four more in the second, with Jonathan Phelps, Dailin Lee, Morris, and Murillo scoring. Starting pitcher Derek Marshall breezed through the first three innings, but ran into a bit of trouble in the fourth. Five straight La Crescenta batters reached base, knocking out Marshall. Dominic Johnson came on for relief, and shut down the La Crescenta rally, keeping the score at 6-3.
Murillo scored again for Westchester in the top of the sixth, extending Westchester’s lead to 7-3. La Crescenta couldn’t figure out Johnson, who blanked La Crescenta for the last three and 2/3 innings, preserving Westchester’s 7-3 victory.
Westchester, led by Manager Hector Zamora, travels this weekend to Surprise, Arizona, where it will play twice on Monday, facing Hawaii and Nevada, followed by single games on Tuesday (Arizona) and Wednesday (Nevada).