Banner season: Highly successful postseason runs come to an end for local Little League teams
A highly anticipated, albeit precarious, Little League season started back in March as young baseball and softball players returned to diamonds across Nevada County looking to make up for lost time.
When the dust finally settled after months of play, teams from Nevada City and Grass Valley had combined to win three District 11 All Star championships, three Section All Star banners and three Tournament of Champions titles.
“To see so many Foothill teams come out so strong this last year is exciting for the community,” said Grass Valley Little League President Stephanie Statler. “These are good kids who work hard and now we know they can compete with the bigger cities, and that says a lot about their determination and everyone in the community who supports them.”
The Grass Valley All Stars in the Intermediate 50/70 Division (13 and under) put together a stellar postseason that included winning the District 11 title and the Section 4 championship banner.
“It’s a great group of kids,” Grass Valley All Stars manager Derek Hiatt said after his team’s Section 4 tournament win. “This is probably one of the better teams I’ve ever had. No bad attitudes.”
The Grass Valley All Stars had their run through the postseason come to an end with a fourth place finish at the Northern California State Championships, held in Selma in mid-July.
“I’m so excited for these boys,” said Statler. “These are the same kids that lost their Little League Majors year last season. That’s the year when they should have been dominating the 200-foot fields and smoking the ball out of the park. Instead of dwelling on the loss they came back strong and worked together as a team. They got to play another three weeks of baseball, something they love to do.”
The Nevada City All Stars (Junior Division, 14 and under) also pieced together a strong postseason run. Nevada City powered through the District 11 tourney, capping it with a 16-0 mercy-rule victory over Rocklin in the title game.
The Junior Division All Stars from Nevada City then headed to the Section 4 tourney in Roseville, where they beat North Natomas and Woodcreek (twice) to earn a spot in the title game. Nevada City closed out the tourney and grabbed the Section 4 championship banner with a come-from-behind, 6-5, extra-inning victory over Fair Oaks/Orangevale.
“They’re a gutsy group,” said Nevada City Little League President and All Stars manager Josh Van Matre. “I’m proud of them.”
The Nevada City All Stars (Juniors) had their postseason run come to a conclusion last week with a fourth place finish at the Northern California State Tournament held in Healdsburg.
On the softball diamond, the Nevada City All Stars (Majors Division, 12 and under) also put forth an impressive run.
The softball All Stars from Nevada City cruised through the District 11 tourney, going undefeated with three straight mercy-rule victories. They then opened the Capital Section Tournament with a loss before reeling off three straight wins, including two in a row over East Sacramento, to claim the Section banner.
“This team, they just battle,” Nevada City Softball All Stars manager Dave Rivenes said after the tournament. “They didn’t want to quit. (Losing the first game) didn’t bother them at all. They are just out here to play and whatever happens, happens. They just forgot about that first loss, started winning and just kept going.”
The season came to a close for the Nevada City Softball All Stars at the Northern California State Tournament, where they finished fourth.
Nevada City Little League also fared well in the Tournament of Champions Series, which proceed the All-Star tourneys. The Nevada City Brewers won the District 11 Juniors Division Tournament of Champions. The Nevada City Rangers claimed the District 11 TOC Intermediate 50/70 Division banner. And, the Nevada City Titans grabbed the Softball Majors Division TOC title.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Collin Rutherford celebrated a return to his hometown on Aug. 22 by scoring a hole-in-one at the Nevada County Country Club.