Culver Players Aid Babe Ruth Victories
Months ago, when Westside Baseball was formed, no one could have imagined the success. The Culver City Junior league merged with Westchester Babe Ruth, forming Westside Baseball, and playing under the familiar name, Westchester Babe Ruth.
In its first 55 years, Westchester sent a total of one team to the World Series. Last year, with Culver City players Christian Amador, Jordan Caines, and Jason Zeidman, Westchester sent its second team to the World Series. This season, after the merger with Culver City, Westchester Babe Ruth has two teams in the World Series.
The 15U team beat El Segundo and Torrance to win the local District Tournament. The team then won the Southern California State title, defeating Torrance (again), La Crescenta, Simi Valley, and Heartwell.
Advancing to the Pacific Southwest Regional Championship, Westchester outlasted Guam, Northern California, Central California, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah and Arizona, winning the final game in an 8-7 extra inning walk off over Northern California’s Tri Valley.
The 14U team’s path was equally as challenging, defeating El Segundo, South Torrance and Torrance in the district championship. The 14s then defeated Simi Valley and La Crescenta to take the Southern California state title. Westchester then won the Southwest Pacific Regional Championship, over Hawaii, Northern California, Central California, Southern California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona.
The 15U team travels to Loudoun County Virginia for the World Series. They face off with the Ohio Valley representative on August 18. The 14U team travels to Moses Lake, Washington with their first game against the Pacific Northwest champion.
The 15U team includes Culver City’s Jay Sterner and Amador, as well as LJ Gilliam, Anthony Chavez, Grant Craddolph, Carlos Jacobo, Matthew Kanfer, Ulysses Perez, AJ Inatsugu, Nick Goff, Cameron Landreth, Mario Morales, Jeremiah Thomure, Reggie Castro, and Isaiah Zepada.
The team is coached by John Lopatto, Alex Galaviz, and Barry Craddolph. Nine of these players (Amador, Gilliam, Chavez, Craddolph, Jacobo, Kanfer, Perez, Inatsugu, Morales and Castro) along with 14U’s Jason Zeidman, were on the 2012 Westchester World Series team. Sterner was named MVP of the Regional championship. Kanfer was also named to the all tournament team.
The 14U team includes Culver City’s Zeidman, Kelvin Murillo, Eli Saucedo and Nolan Martinez, as well as Aaron Greenfield, Justin Morris, Derek Marshall, Saul Martinez, Dailin Lee, Kane Kutler, Dylan Sledge, Kailin Woodard, Dominic Johnson, and Jonathan Phelps. Nolan Martinez was the Regional MVP with Morris, Lee and Murillo on the all tournament team.