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Dodgers 19O baseball team hopes to make splash in New York

Baseball: Stan Musial Collegiate team raises funds and hopes heading to World Series.

August 07, 2013|By Andrew J. Campa, andrew.campa@latimes.com

It’s one thing to win in Sacramento, and quite another in New York.

The Los Angeles Easton Elite Dodgers 19O Stan Musial Collegiate baseball team has become quite aware of that lately, both on and off the field.

Yet, the Los Angeles-based club, which played most of its home games out of the Tujunga Ball Fields, is more than willing to take its chances as the squad opens up action Thursday afternoon in the Stan Musial World Series in rural Farmington, NY.

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The Dodgers, who field a handful of local players and coaches, are one of eight teams participating in the double-elimination tournament and open against Canton, Ohio, at 1 p.m. PDT. A victory would vault the Dodgers into championship bracket action at 4 p.m. PDT Friday, while a defeat sends the squad into a second-chance contest at 10 a.m.

“It wasn’t a surprise run for me because I knew the team had it in them. It just took us awhile to jell,” Dodgers Coach Rick Freire said. “I just want this team to come home with their heads held high and to enjoy the experience. It’s very hard to get to this stage and it’s a huge deal.”

The Dodgers, champions of the American Amateur Baseball Congress League, earned their ticket to the Empire State with a 4-0 run through the Western Regional Tournament in Sacramento that included a sweep of the Palo Alto Oats, the three-time defending regional champion.

Los Angeles (26-9) opened with an 8-0 victory over the Sacramento Legends on July 25 before rallying from a 9-5 eighth-inning deficit against the San Jose A’s to pick up a 10-9 win.

Two wins set up the Dodgers with their first game against the Oats, in which starting pitcher Braxton Diaz allowed one run and seven hits with six strikeouts in a 9-1 victory.

Palo Alto fought its way through the second-chance bracket for a championship rematch July 28, one in which the Dodgers scored two runs in the fourth on a single from Travis Crumb and added two more runs in the sixth, one coming on a single from Burbank High graduate Nathan Zavala.

The offense was more than sufficient for hurler Tony Davallos, the tournament most valuable player, who fanned five in a complete-game 4-1 victory, which qualified the Dodgers to their first-ever Stan Musial World Series, according to Freire.

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