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Locals swing way to success

Area softball and baseball teams capture District 16 and Section 2 championships to highlight memorable season.

August 17, 2011|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

Once again, hundreds of area Little Leaguers took to various baseball and softball fields around Glendale, La Crescenta and Montrose. Some of them were able to compete outside the area and state in their quest for championship glory.

The San Gabriel Valley Babe Ruth 16-18 All-Star team reached the World Series in Washington for the first time in two years and the Foothill Major, Crescenta Valley 9-10 and Crescenta Valley Junior all-star softball teams advanced to the Southern California State Tournament, falling just short of reaching the regional tournament.

There were memorable walk-off home runs and outstanding pitching performances from a number of players en route to teams winning District 16 and Section 2 tournaments.

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The following is a recap of the area's Little League season.

BABE RUTH ALL-STARS

After missing out on the World Series last season, the San Gabriel Valley Babe Ruth 16-18, featuring eight local players and led by Crescenta Valley High baseball Coach Phil Torres, returned by sweeping through the Pacific Southwest Regional in Modesto. It then participated in the World Series in Ephrata, Wash., but didn't reach the bracket portion of the tournament.

San Gabriel Valley won one of four American Division pool-play games. Elliott Surrey of Crescenta Valley starred on the mound in the final pool-play game by striking out four and scattering five hits in a 3-0 win against defending champion Mobile., Ala. San Gabriel Valley snapped Mobile's reported 53-game winning streak.

"It's a different team every year and we came a long way in the last two weeks," said Torres, whose team advanced to the World Series with a 5-4 victory against Watsonville in the regional final. "A lot of our guys are in it to get here again, if they want to be here next summer."

The La Crescenta 13-year-old team opened the Southern California State Tournament with a 6-0 loss against Westchester at Dunsmore Park. It saw its season end with a 7-3 loss to Westchester in the championship game.

Also in the Southern California State Tournament, La Crescenta's 14-year-old team opened with a 6-4 victory against Simi Valley at Thousand Oaks High, as pitcher Cole Radmacher went the distance, striking out five and scattering six hits. La Crescenta was knocked out of the winner's bracket with a 9-1 loss to El Segundo before bouncing back with a 9-5 victory against Simi Valley. La Crescenta's season concluded in the championship game with a 10-6 loss against El Segundo.

PALOMINO

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