The Coach's Corner...
Updated: Nov 14, 2018
Mission accomplished! That makes two weekend's in a row that we've seen teams from all over the West Coast come to Fresno to play youth travel baseball in USSSA and NCTB's Perfect Game events. It's great seeing this level of baseball being played right here in our own backyard... and after these couple of weeks, I guarantee they'll be back!
How best can we accurately recap this past weekend? We just keep coming back to #valleypride. What a couple of weekends for youth baseball in the Central Valley! Big names, major level baseball, storied organizations, all landed in Fresno and our very own Valley teams held their ground and in a couple of brackets actually took the whole thing!
Let's start with the 14u bracket. As predicted, we said of all divisions this one had a good chance of a valley team taking it. And the South Valley Prospects led by coach Chad Henson took it in grand fashion putting up runs early and often over Norcal's finest Team Combat in the championship. SVP definitely showed up on Sunday in a big way.
Final: South Valley Prospects 13, Team Combat 6
Tournament MVP: Larry Ayala
Valleypride was in full force in the 12u division as well as Tri-County Baseball and the Bakersfield Starz both went 2 and 0 on Saturday in pool play earning the 1 and 3 seed respectively.
Oh by the way, yes Kibru Pam did make the trek to Fresno but did not make an appearance on the mound. He is currently shut down until the spring. The MVP/Hustle definitely showed some high level play going 2 and 0 on Saturday but ran into Lamorinda's ace in the quarterfinals on Sunday. Ishaan Khambal was not intimidated by the highly touted MVP/Hustle team. He had an absolute stellar performance against the Hustle spotting low 70 fastballs and buckling knees with his offspeed pitch. He held a great hitting team to just 2 runs while striking out 7 batters in the big win.
But in the end, the Bakersfield Starz left no doubt who was the "best of the best" after winning all 3 games on Sunday to take home the cup and the bragging rights. It took a complete team effort and great performance by Landon Macdonald on the mound and at the plate to beat the fundamentally sound West Coast Federals.
Final Bakersfield Starz 10, West Coast Federals 3
The 11u bracket saw a lot of high scoring games as the big outfield with teams that can really hit gap to gap were running wild. In the end, MVP/Hustle-Casillas ran away with it on Sunday as they went undefeated on the weekend.
Final MVP/Hustle- Casillas 11, Hype 3
The story for us in the 11s is of course are very own the CV Patriots out of Bakersfield. They were predicted by us to finish last as we felt that they were just not battled tested at this level of play yet...well that changed quickly! Although, the result wasn't what they were hoping, the CV Patriots absolutely showed up Sunday with something to prove and if it weren't for the time limit issue who knows how far they would have went Sunday. We look to see great things from this group in the very near future...
Well, we actually did correctly predict the champion in this bracket (btw, that makes us 2 for 4 this weekend and 7 for 11 overall). MVP/Hustle- Garcia won 2 very close games on Saturday and then decided to bring out the sticks on Sunday scoring 21 runs in two games.
Again, in the 10u bracket we had a valley team, the Fresno Golddiggers, prove that they belong. Making it all the way to the ship in Perfect Game's Best of the Best is no easy deal. But they battle all weekend going 2 and 0 on Saturday and then beating a tough Hype team in the semis before running into the MVP/Hustle buzz saw.
Final MVP/Hustle - Garcia 11, Fresno Golddiggers 0
Well as you can see it was a great weekend of baseball in the Fresno area and several Valley teams showed that they could compete with the best of the best and in a couple of cases they earned the bragging rights.
Stayed tuned for our next edition of the "Hot Corner" this Thursday as we continue to predict/project and attempt to keep the growing travel baseball community here in the valley up to date with what's going on!
Next up: USSSA's Battle for the State at Granite Park, Fresno
Also, in mid-December we'll be unveiling our Central California power rankings!