Westside Baseball’s Westchester Babe Ruth completed a dream all-star season with an 8-0 shutout of Pacific Northwest Regional Champion Oregon in the finals of the Babe Ruth 14U World Series last Saturday.
Riding a 10-game winning streak and having won each of its World Series games by four or more runs, Westchester earned its first world title. The championship game was a rematch as Westchester had defeated Oregon, 8-1, in the tournament’s opening game.
Westchester turned to Saul Martinez to start the most important game in Westchester’s 57-year history. Martinez beat New Hampshire 11-7 on Sunday, and came into the championship game well rested.
Martinez had all of his pitches working he didn’t allow an Oregon base runner until the third inning and didn’t give up a hit until Oregon catcher Casey McGough singled with one out in the fourth.
Martinez was aided by excellent defense, especially by third baseman Aaron Greenfield who successfully threw out six Oregon hitters, often on spectacular plays.
Left fielder Dailin Lee praised Martinez, “When I heard that Saul was pitching, I knew we were going to win. I knew that Saul was up to the task. He kept pounding the strike zone, and the Oregon players couldn’t catch up with his heat. They were obviously overmatched.”
Offensively, Westchester initially had a tough time with Oregon’s soft throwing southpaw starting pitcher Brandon Gordon, who retired the first 11 Westchester batters before Greenfield singled to center. Greenfield promptly scored on a Nolan Martinez single to center, and Westchester took a 1-0 lead to the fifth inning.
Westchester broke the game open in the fifth as Derek Marshall singled and scored two outs later on a Dailin Lee single to center. After Justin Morris singled and Kelvin Murillo walked, Greenfield doubled to left knocking in both and putting Westchester ahead, 4-0 after five innings.
Westchester then sent eight batters to the plate in the bottom of the sixth. After Marshall singled and Eli Saucedo walked, consecutive singles by Jonathan Phelps, Lee, Morris and Murillo resulted in four more Westchester runs,
Saul Martinez retired six of the last seven Oregon batters to complete the masterpiece.
Nolan Martinez, the Pacific Southwest Regional Most Valuable player, was named the World Series MVP and also made the all tournament team. Teammates Marshall , Murillo and Greenfield were also honored as members of the all-tournament team. Saul Martinez was named to the all defensive team.
Nolan Martinez, who also was a member of the Major League Baseball RBI World Series championship, spoke of his recent accomplishments.
“It’s been quite a summer, truly amazing, once in a lifetime. In Little League, I dreamed of playing in a World Series. This summer, I played in two World Series’. Like I said, it’s been amazing.”
Justin Morris, who was named to the all-tournament team in the regionals, and who arguably had the best all around tournament in the World Series, was left out of the awards.
Morris hit .409, scored 11 runs and drove in 11 in the six-game series.
Westchester right fielder Kane Kutler was astonished about Morris’ exclusion, “that is messed up, it’s 100% wrong. Morris was a beast. We couldn’t have won this without Jo Mo. He could have been MVP.”
Jason Zeidman, a two-time World Series participant who finished the Washington game, expressed his excitement about the world championship. “It was amazing. Getting to the World Series is hard enough. Ten of the best teams in the country were here, and we beat them all. It was unreal.”
Westchester was managed by former Culver City High star Hector Zamora with Chris Lynch and Josh Fernandez coaching. This is the same staff the took Westchester to its first World Series in 2008.
The 15 members of the World Championship team are Brandon Brown, Aaron Greenfield, Dominic Johnson, Kain Kutler, Dailin Lee, Derek Marshall, Nolan Martinez, Saul Martinez, Justin Morris, Kelvin Murillo, Jonathan Phelps, Eli Saucedo, Dylan Sledge, Kaelin Woodard and Jason Zeidman.
Westchester defeated defending champion Bryant, Arkansas, 8-3 in the 14U World Series Friday.
Nolan Martinez, who garnered game Most Valuable Player honors, was the story both at the plate and on the mound. Martinez went three for four and knocked in two runs. On the mound, Martinez was masterful, scattering nine hits and walking two, while striking out nine.
Westchester Babe Ruth 13-15 Year Old World Series Recap
The Westchester Babe Ruth 13-15 year old All Star team continued its winning ways in Virginia to earn the number one seed in the championship round of the Babe Ruth World Series being played in Loudoun County, VA.
On Tuesday, Westchester outlasted the Southern Region champions from Brazoswood, TX , 2-0. Carlos Jacobo (Hawthorne ’17) won Game MVP honors for the second time in the World Series working a complete game shutout.
Westchester scored all of its runs in the first inning. Uly Perez (Santa Monica ’16) singled to start the inning. Hot hitting Matthew Kanfer (LACES ’15) sent a towering triple to center-field to score Perez. Kanfer would later come around to score on a ground ball by Lawrence Gilliam (Crossroads ’15). .
Westchester defeated Washington on Saturday 15-0, completing World Series pool play with a 4-0 record.