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Pleasanton Preps: Tri-Valley Babe Ruth 14 All-Stars win NorCal tournament

Advance to regionals for chance at World Series
youth baseball
Fresh off their Northern California championship, the Tri-Valley Babe Ruth 14 All-Stars begin the regionals tournament next week with their eye on a World Series berth.

I have always taken an interest in Babe Ruth baseball being played during the summer months and share in the excitement when our local sides advance through the All-Star tournaments.

In the late 1970s, I was a member of the Pleasanton Babe Ruth All-Star team that advanced through the district tournament and on to the state tournament before having our season ended.

So, when I see another local side -- in this instance the Tri-Valley Babe Ruth 14 All-Stars -- win another state tournament and advance to regionals, it puts a smile on my face.

The 14s rolled through the state event for the second straight time and now will be heading to regionals in hopes of earning a spot in the Babe Ruth World Series.

The Northern California tournament took place in Woodland, and Tri-Valley went through it 3-0, outscoring their opponents 31-3 in the three games.

In the first game, Tri-Valley opened with a 6-1 win over Washington Manor. George Schmitt Jr. led the way at the plate with a triple.

The game was all about the pitching, something that carried the team throughout the event.

Ryan Cooney started and went four innings, allowing two hits and walking one, but he struck out five. Brennan Baptist threw two innings, giving up one hit and the lone run, but struck out five in the short stint.

Christian Morales went the final inning, giving up two hits and striking out three.

The second game was a 15-0 laugher over Woodland, the tournament host. Kade Robertson and Baptist each had a double to lead the offensive attack.

Grant Hoeninger got the call on the mound and went the first three, allowing one hit and striking out four. Anthony Luy went the final inning in the game that was shortened by the mercy rule. Luy got a pair of strikeouts to close the game.

The win sent Tri-Valley into the title game, where they were able to relax and watch the other teams battle to get to the championship.

By the time it was over, Tri-Valley knocked off Woodland again, this time 10-2 to win the title. Hoeninger had a double to lead the way on offense. Cooney again got the start on the mound and responded by walking just one batter and striking out four in three innings of work.

Baptist, Morales, Luy and Eli Davidson each threw an inning the rest of the way out, combining to allow three hits, two runs, and striking out six.

Next up for Tri-Valley is the Southwest Regional, July 25-30 at Hanford High. They open the tournament Monday taking on Central California (Santa Maria).
The carrot at the end of the stick is a spot in the Babe Ruth World Series, Aug. 11-21 in Williston, N.D.

The Tri-Valley Babe Ruth 14s is led by manager Andrew Crabill (Amador Valley alumnus, San Diego State alum and member 2011 World Series 13s champs) and coach John Flora.

The players are Aiden Foley (Amador-freshman), Anthony Luy (Foothill-sophomore), Brennan Baptist (Amador-sophomore), Christian Morales (Foothill-freshman), Dylan Souza (Foothill-freshman), Eli Davidson (Foothill-freshman), George Schmitt (Foothill-freshman), Grant Hoeninger (Foothill-freshman), Hudson Flora (Foothill-freshman), Jake Tsunemoto (SRV-freshman), Kade Robertson (Amador-freshman), Matteo Minnite (Foothill-freshman), Nic Fox (Cal-sophomore), RJ Manicki (Foothill-freshman) and Ryan Cooney (Foothill-freshman).

Well done boys and carry the Babe Ruth local program all the way!

Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for Embarcadero Media's East Bay Division. To contact him about his Pleasanton Preps column, email acesmag@aol.com.