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Tournaments | Championship | 10/5/2015

Champs crowned at CWS Unders

Jeff Dahn        
Photo: Perfect Game

CBA Marucci wins 2nd straight PGCWS Under title

FRESNO, Calif. – The Temecula, Calif.-based CBA Marucci organization put its best foot forward at last year’s inaugural Perfect Game California World Series, winning both the Upperclass and Underclass divisions of the event, which was played in the Los Angeles area.

Much has changed in the 12 months since those championships were contested and in the case of CBA Marucci, it’s changed for the better. The upperclass team made a statement by winning the 17u PG WWBA National Championship in Georgia back in July. Two months later, a pair of CBA teams won both the PG/EvoShield Upper and Underclass National Championships in Arizona, to further establish the program as a national power.

But it never hurts to return to your roots and remind everyone that you haven’t gotten too big for your britches. So while CBA Marucci decided not to field a team in this past weekend's PG California World Series Upperclass tournament, it did have an entrant in the PG Cali World Series Underclass-Pacific Division event, and late Monday afternoon the fighting CBA’s took home another PG tournament championship trophy.

Looking strong and confident right from the start of the tournament on Saturday, CBA Marucci Underclass completed a 5-0-0 run through the field by turning back the Southern California Bombers Underclass (4-1-0) out of La Puente by the count of 8-0 in a championship game at Chukchansi Park that was stopped after five innings by the tournament run-rule.

“I told the guys after the semifinal game that as a coach and after doing this for a long time, I know when to shut my mouth,” CBA head coach Jon Paino said after the championship game victory. “I don’t think I really said much to these guys. They play together, they love one another like brothers and it’s just been amazing to be on this ride with them over the last year.”

CBA Marucci Underclass fought hard for this championship, outscoring its three pool-play opponents by a combined 17-4 and then just getting past GBG Marucci Underclass in a one-run game in the semifinals. The championship game may have been its most relaxed victory of the entire three-day weekend.

The CBA’s scored three runs in the first inning, two in the third and three more in the fourth to put the championship game victory in the bank. They totaled nine hits, with nine batters collecting one hit apiece; Jonathan Schiffer doubled to account for the only extra-base hit.

Kenny Oyama and Tyler Hardman each singled and drove in two runs while Donta Williams and Jamal O’Guinn each singled and scored twice. 2017 right-hander Sean Ross started on the mound and worked the first four shutout innings, allowing one hit, striking out six and walking two.

Williams, a top-500 outfielder from Las Vegas who has committed to the University of Arizona, was 1-for-1 with two walks, three stolen bases and two runs scored in the championship game. In five games over the past three days, he was 5-for-10 (.500) with a double, three walks, seven stolen bases and a .688 on-base percentage; he was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

“I’ve been hitting leadoff all my life and it’s just natural; I just go with it,” Williams said postgame. “The chatter in the dugout – the noise and the energy in the dugout – it might get annoying sometimes for other teams but we keep it going in the dugout and there’s no dull moment for us.”

Paino used 11 pitchers to work the 33 innings required to complete five games at the event, and they combined to allow four earned runs (0.85 ERA) on 16 hits with 39 strikeouts and 18 walks; only one hurler worked as many as five innings and four others went four.

Based on his performance in the championship game, Ross, an athletic 6-foot, 180-pounder from El Cajon who, like Williams, has committed to Arizona and is ranked a robust No 42, was named the Most Valuable Pitcher. There were plenty of back-slaps and high-fives to go around in the CBA dugout.

“This is fun; it’s just a lot of fun,” Williams said. “Playing with this great group and this team is just amazing. Everybody has so much talent, I can’t really put it into words; it’s unbelievable. We have that mindset coming into tournaments that we’re going to win it. We have the talent and we know that we can do this.”

The So Cal Bombers used three runs-scoring singles and a combined five-hitter from a couple of 2017 right-handers to hand CCB Elite Underclass (3-1-0) a 3-0 loss in Monday morning’s first semifinal game at Fresno Pacific University.

Anthony Russo and Jared Dinisi each recorded RBI singles in the bottom of the first inning and Daniel Cervantes came through with one of his own in the bottom of the fourth to account for the game’s scoring. Nathan Schneider – a St. Mary’s recruit – and Quinton Potter joined forces on the five-hit shutout, combining to strike-out six and walk four. Chris Troye had two of CCB’s five hits, both singles.

The second semifinal at Fresno Pacific pitted Southern California rivals CBA Marucci Underclass against GBG Marucci Underclass in a game that saw CBA jump to a 4-0 lead after 3 ½ and then hold on for 4-3 victory after GBG (3-1-0) scored two in the bottom of the fourth and a single run in the sixth.

CBA totaled just five hits in the win but three of them were doubles off the bats of Williams, O’Guinn and Hardman. Hardman also drove in a run, as did Oyama and Ross, both of whom smacked singles.

2017 right-handers Kyle Marino and Daniel Ritcheson combined on a four-hitter for CBA, allowing two earned runs, striking out 10 and walking four. All four of GBG’s hits were singles, including one by Cole Roederer, who drove in a pair of runs.

The CBA Marucci organization will always be able to look back fondly at the 2015 summer and fall seasons while also thinking the best may be yet to come. Paino gave a lot of credit to CBA Director of Player Development Joe Spiers, Director of Baseball Operations Josh Glassey and staff member Andrew Takayoshi for the program’s success.

“I reap a lot of the benefits of the hard work that those guys do, out there grinding every week at all the workouts and all the local tournaments,” he said. “It’s just a product of the families, the kids and the program, and all the hard work; we’re proud of ourselves.”

2015 California World Series (Underclass) - Pacific runner-up: Southern California Bombers Underclass

2015 California World Series (Underclass) - Pacific MVP: Donta Williams

2015 California World Series (Underclass) - Pacific MV-Pitcher: Sean Ross

NorCal Young Guns capture PGCWS Underclass-Coastal crown

CLOVIS, Calif. – Put one in the win column for the guys from up north.

The NorCal Young Guns Underclass from Escalon, Calif., rebounded from a loss in their second pool-play game and claimed the title at the Perfect Game California World Series Underclass-Coastal Division championship late Sunday night at Buchanan High School.

The Young Guns Under (3-1-0) used a five-run outburst in the top of the sixth inning to record an 8-1 win over the Reggie Smith Athletics Underclass (2-1-1) from Encino in the championship game. The Athletics Under led 1-0 at the end of the first inning, but the Young Guns plated a single run in the third, two in the fourth and then five in the sixth to seal the win. The game ended by mutual consent after six innings.

2018 right-hander Julian Favela allowed an earned run on two hits and struck out 10 in six innings of work to pick up the win. Jimmy McClenaghan was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI, Cole Coffey doubled and drove in two, Favela singled and had a pair of RBI and Zac Heinz punched a couple of singles and drove in a run to spearhead the Guns’ eight-hit attack. Reggie Smith’s Dax Speakman and Trey Reynolds each singled off of Favela and Speakman scored the A’s only run.

“We played three tough teams to get here and they were all good games,” Young Guns Under head coach Tom Graham said after the championship game victory. “We made a few mistakes early in this tournament but we really battled. We competed at the plate and our pitching on the mound was really, really good this weekend; that helped.”

The Young Guns’ pool-play wins came over the Southern California Bombers Red Underclass from LaPuente and Lamorinda Underclass from Pleasant Hill in the Bay Area; they got beat by Two-Five Baseball Underclass from Fresno. Escalon is about 70 miles due east of Oakland in Northern California, and the Guns got to face a nice cross-section of teams from the top of the state to the bottom.

“We knew it was going to be tough playing L.A. teams and playing (teams) where we come from, and even (teams from) down here in Fresno,” Graham said. “We’ve played in big-time events so these guys were ready for it. We came down with a small number of kids but every one of them gave it their all.”

The championship game start was the second pitching appearance of the tournament for Favela, who calls Modesto home. He wound up giving up just the one earned run on only three hits in 10 innings pitched (0.70 ERA) with 14 strikeouts and two walks, and was named the event’s Most Valuable Pitcher.

McClenaghan, a 2017 outfielder/shortstop from Modesto who has committed to the University of Nebraska, hit .462 (6-for-13) with a double, triple, three RBI and three runs scored and was named the Most Valuable Player.

Graham said he’s been coaching this group since they were 10-year-olds, and over the past five or six years they’ve really developed a chemistry and winning attitude.

“Good teams can beat good individual players, and this team is really close,” he said. “That helps out big-time, obviously, when you’re in tight games or when you’re in a big, long tournament or far away from home; it goes a long way.”

The Reggie Smith Athletics Underclass snuck past its first two pool-play opponents by a combined score of 9-6 and then used a 3-3 tie with NorCal Baseball Underclass to claim the pool championship. Graham said the level of competition every team at the tournament offered was beneficial to all the players.

“We like all the Perfect Game events,” he said. “Playing in these kind of events where every team is good and the margin of error from the best team to the team that didn’t (reach the championship game) is very, very small.”

2015 California World Series (Underclass) - Coastal champions: NorCal Young Guns Underclass

2015 California World Series (Underclass) - Coastal runner-up: Reggie Smith Athletics Underclass

2015 California World Series (Underclass) - Coastal MVP: Jimmy McClenaghan

2015 California World Series (Underclass) - Coastal MV-Pitcher: Julian Favela


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