While the loss eliminated Arroyo Seco, which includes several players with ties to St. Francis High, Crescenta Valley or Glendale Community College, from the tournament and ended its season, it couldn't diminish the finest season in its nine-year history. The Saints became Palomino League Southern California and West Zone champions and also won their first two games in the program’s Palomino League World Series history to finish with a 34-6-1 record.
“I told them to keep their heads up,” said Milam, who is also the St. Francis baseball coach. “In the nine years we've been doing this we've had some great teams come through here, but this is by far the best Saints team we've ever had.”
Chinese Taipei will go on to face tournament-host Compton in the championship game at 7 p.m. on Monday.
Milam said most of the Saints used bats up to Ball-Bat Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) regulations, despite learning minus-5 (length of the bat in inches minus weight in ounces) bats are legal under tournament rules in their tournament-opener with Chinese Taipei Thursday.
Chinese Taipei won the opener, 17-8, after it was found to be in possession of three illegal bats that were greater than 2 5/8 inches in circumference, which are illegal under tournament rules. Those bats were confiscated and Chinese Taipei Coach Lee Kuo Chiang was suspended for the remainder of the contest, but the 7-0 lead Chinese Taipei had built up over two innings while using the illegal bats wasn't erased per tournament rules, despite Milam's protests.
Milam said he wanted to put the batty drama behind them Saturday.