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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW Frontier Youth Baseball League all-stars have rough opening in state tournament

By Loren Kopff

LONG BEACH-The opening game of the Babe Ruth League State Tournament didn’t go so well for three of the all-star teams from the Frontier Youth Baseball League. And because of that, the teams will have to win five straight games in the loser’s bracket to gain a berth in the Cal Ripken Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament.

The 8-Under all-stars faced Los Altos this past Wednesday evening at El Dorado Park West and quickly fell into a hole that they nearly climbed out of. In the end, Frontier dropped a 5-4 decision, leaving the winning run at first in the bottom of the sixth inning. Pitcher Jarret Nielsen stumbled through the first two innings, but the defense behind him didn’t help as well. All five of Frontiers’ errors came in the first two innings when Los Altos scored all five runs and picked up three of its five hits. Two of the five runs were earned. But Nielsen also walked five and struck out three. The top of the first inning saw Nielsen walk four straight batters with two outs but only two runs came home.

Frontier got its first run in the bottom of the second when designated hitter Ryan Rodriguez and first baseman Kaleb Nakano singled with none out. After third baseman Henry Wonderlick reached on a fielder’s choice, Nakano scored on centerfielder Nicholas Leung’s base hit to right field.

While Rodriguez, who pitched the third and fourth innings, struck out two and allowed a pair of hits during his time on the mound, Frontier made it a game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Catcher Noah Andrunas reached on an error and scored on a double from Rodriguez. On the very next pitch, Nakano doubled to right to make it a 5-3 affair. After a walk to Wonderlick and a pop-up, Nakano touched home plate on a ground out from second baseman Nate Tsujioka.

Nakano pitched the final two innings, striking out four and walking two while tossing 31 pitches. Frontier had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth when right fielder Ryan Martinez was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a wild pitch and went to third on a one-out groundout. But another groundout left the score at 5-4.

Then in the final frame, Rodriguez led off with a base hit and one out later, advanced on a base hit from Wonderlick. But a pop-up and a fly-out within the next four pitches ended another golden opportunity.

Frontier will play the loser of the Simi Valley/Seabees game, played on July 10, on Saturday morning. A win in that game means Frontier will play again Saturday afternoon against the loser of the Los Altos/Heartwell game.

Going on at the same time of the 8-Under game, the Frontier 11-Under all-stars led Heartwell by a run going into the top of the sixth inning. But Heartwell scored twice and escaped with a 4-3 win. Pitcher Jonathan Nava went the distance, yielding nine hits and striking out three. Christian Chai, Stanley Nicholson and William Reed all went one for three and a run scored.

Frontier will play the loser of the Simi Valley/Seabees contest, also played on July 10, on Saturday in Simi Valley.

Also this past Wednesday night, the Frontier 10-Under all-stars were blanked by Los Altos 12-0 in a game that ended in five innings due to the mercy rule. The lone highlight for Frontier came in the third inning when Elias Archie hit a two-out triple. As is the case with the other two Frontier teams, the 10-Under squad will play the loser of the Simi Valley/Seabees game on Saturday in Simi Valley.

The Frontier 12-Under all stars will play the winner of this past Wednesday’s Los Altos/Heartwell game tonight at Heartwell.

SOFTBALL

The Cerritos Girls Softball Association 12-Under Kaos all-star team had one good game at last weekend’s Amateur Softball Association “B” State Tournament in Lancaster. Unfortunately, the team had two games it would like to forget and were bounced out of the tournament last Saturday afternoon.

The Kaos fell to North Shore 8-2 last Friday afternoon as the team was held to two hits. But Cerritos rebounded in a big way last Saturday morning by eliminating Moreno Valley 12-3. Kara Spoolstra and Valerie Joaquin combined to scatter six hits and strike out five batters. Essence Gibbs had three hits and drove in three runs while Julia Enzmann added a pair of hits.

But a few hours later, the Kaos were smashed by Bonita Valley 14-4 as a pair of pitchers yielded a dozen hits. Enzmann again had a pair of hits while four other players all had one hit.

The Kaos, which ended the summer at 11-10 overall, were facing the aforementioned opponents for the first time this summer. The rest of the CGSA 12-Under Kaos are: Caitlyn Azevedo, Brooklyn Bedolla, Gemma Bulthuis, Brenda Duran, Natalie Luna, Dalia Morones and Destiny Ramos. The manager is Sal Bedolla and his assistants are: Gabe Azevedo, Edgar Cervantes, Benito Joaquin, Steve Morones and Mike Spoolstra.  The team moms are Ana Azevedo, Laurie Marek and Monica Martinez.

In other softball action, the Artesia Punishers 14-Under team coached by Jr. Vasquez will participate in the Triple Crown Sports World Series in Park City, Utah. The Punishers will begin pool play action on Tuesday against the (Sedona, AZ) Verde Valley Heat and the (Los Gatos) California Kryptonite. The next day, the Punishers will face the (Corona) Quakes and the (Indio) Southern California Nationals.

The Artesia Punishers 18-Under team coached by Higinio Valdez will play six pool play games in the ASA Champions Cup, which began this past Wednesday. The playoffs will begin on Saturday morning with the championship game on Sunday afternoon.

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