Matt Magallon’s 100th win as a Warriors Club Baseball coach came at an especially auspicious time, with his 11U Warriors Blue Team (5-2-1) becoming the first in organization history to qualify for the Extreme Diamond Sports World Series. After finishing 3-2 and in second place at last weekend’s Bases Loaded Showdown tournament in Las Vegas, the Warriors Blue team was ranked among the top 16 11U teams in Western United States, which was another first for the Warriors Pony Baseball program.
The Warriors pounded teams from Colorado and Las Vegas by a combined score of 31-14 in three games leading into last Sunday’s tournament championship, before finally losing a 12-5 decision to CS Marron, of Fresno, in the title game. Nick Grajeda, Joey Wetherbee and Kai Moran each hit home runs for the Warriors, with Kenneth Chung and Connor Rice leading the 11U Blue team’s run production with five RBIs apiece. From the mound, Rice, Moran and Chung recorded wins, with closers William Richardson, Daniel Tovar and Boon Fay cashing in on save opportunities. First baseman Grajeda was voted tournament MVP, batting .615 with eight hits, seven runs and a home run.
A weekend full of Warriors highlights was punctuated during Sunday’s 9-7 extra-innings win over the Las Vegas Baseball Association’s Lighting, when Grajeda scored the go-ahead run off a squeeze play bunt by Rice. That was followed by outfielder Daniel DiMaggio’s smash down the left-field line that scored third baseman Braden Lowe.
The 13U Warriors (3-1) won both games of their doubleheader last Sunday. The team won by “mercy rule” over the 14U team from Reggie Smith Academy by a score of 12-2 in four innings in the first game, and squeaked out a 6-5 victory over Pacific Baseball Academy in the second game. The Warriors scored seven first-inning runs against Reggie Smith, highlighted by Austin Aguilar’s two-run double, as well as RBIs from Brayden Stark and Brian Harley, who allowed only one earned run and four hits in four innings on the mound. In game two, the 12U Warriors’ Joey Light Rake, playing up to fill the 13U team’s roster, gave up no earned runs in four innings on the mound. Josh Hernandez had two hits, including a two-run, bases-clearing triple that put the Warriors ahead for good in the bottom of the fourth inning. Catcher Evan Light Rake broke his hand after he was hit by a pitch and will be out for a month.
9U Blue Warriors
The Warriors 9U Blue (2-2) defeated the Valley Cats by a score of 14-10 in Mid-Valley League competition. The Warriors built up a 14-1 lead going into the fifth inning, with big hits from Emmett Showers, Owen Duffelmier and Graham Turner. Pitcher Muse Beale had another solid performance on the mound, pitching three shutout innings. The Valley Cats rallied in the fifth, but a strong finish by pitcher Oz Rubinson cleared the way for the win.
9U Orange Warriors
The Warriors’ new 9U Orange team (0-4) continued its early-game struggles last Sunday in Mid-Valley League play, committing five errors and giving up 17 runs in the first inning to the Toluca Lake Thunder in a 22-7 loss. The Warriors played the Thunder to a 7-5 advantage in the second and third innings, getting a strong second-inning pitching performance from Theo Collins, who also had two runs and two hits from the plate. Levi Rice and Luca Ruggiero also had RBI hits for 9U Orange.
The 7U, 8U and 12U Warriors had bye weeks for spring break.