LITTLE LEAGUE: All-Star teams battle it out in District 11 tourneys
For the past week, the diamonds at Condon Park in Grass Valley and Pioneer Park in Nevada City have featured some of the best young ball players in District 11 to go along with cheering crowds and the smell of barbecue pouring out from snack shacks.
Area All-Star teams from Nevada City, Grass Valley, Penn Valley, Bear River and Sierra Foothills have been mixing it up with All-Star teams from Lincoln, Mid-Placer, Auburn, Tri-City and Rocklin in the hopes of walking away with the District 11 All-Star championship banner.
“It’s an exciting time of the year, you can see it in the kids,” Grass Valley Little League President and All-Star coach Justin McKenna said earlier this week. “During the last few weeks of the (regular) season, schools are getting close to getting out and you can see the attention spans getting shorter and shorter, but once the names for the All-Star teams are announced and the practices start you really see the kids flip that switch into a competitive mode, which isn’t always Little Leagues focus during the regular season. It’s more of a skill development league and community based, but once the tournament season starts, the kids kick it on.”
In addition to Pioneer Park and Condon Park, All-Star tournaments are also being held at the Rocklin Little League Fields and the Tri-City Little League Fields, also in Rocklin.
Here is a breakdown of how the District 11 All-Star tournaments are going so far:
11-12 year olds (Majors Division)
In the 10-12 year old (Majors Division) District 11 Tournament held at the Tri-City Little League Field in Rocklin, the All-Stars from Bear River have made a statement with back-to-back wins. Bear River beat Nevada City, 13-3, to open the tourney, then topped Rocklin, 14-8, Wednesday.
In the win over Rocklin, Bear River grabbed a 3-1 lead after two innings. Bear River added five more runs in the third with Joey Knox providing the big hit, a bases loaded double.
Rocklin responded with four runs in the bottom of the third and the game stayed 8-5 until the sixth inning when Bear River’s Sammy Sypnicki drew a walk, Angus Watkins was hit by a pitch and Ryder Celenza reached on a bunt which set the table for another five run inning.
Bear River pitchers Devon Daley, Chase Wright and Anders Torgerson combined to limit the Rocklin offense.
Next up for Bear River is a Saturday matchup against tourney host Tri-City, who beat Mid-Placer 10-0 Thursday.
In other 11-12 tourney action, the Nevada City All-Stars are 1-1 with a loss to Bear River and an 11-1 win over Foresthill (0-2). Nevada City will play Saturday against the winner of Friday night’s Sierra Foothills/Auburn matchup.
The Grass Valley All-Stars opened the tourney with a 10-0 win over Foresthill. They will now face Lincoln on Saturday. Lincoln topped Penn Valley 11-1, on Monday and Auburn 10-9 on Wednesday to advance to Saturday’s matchup with Grass Valley.
10-11 year olds
Pioneer Park is home to the 10-11 year old District 11 All-Star Tournament where Rocklin has proven to be a force so far. The All-Stars from Rocklin have reeled off two dominant wins over Sierra Foothills and Nevada City. Nevada City (0-1) will look to stave off elimination at 5 p.m. today when they face Grass Valley (0-1), who lost to Tri-City in their only game so far.
Penn Valley is 0-1 after a loss to Auburn, and they will take on the winner Friday’s elimination game between Sierra Foothills and Mid-Placer on Saturday.
In addition to Rocklin (2-0), All-Star teams from Lincoln (1-0), Auburn (1-0) and Tri-City (1-0) have yet to drop a game.
9-10 year olds
Condon Park is hosting the 9-10 year old District 11 All-Star Tournament where Rocklin once again has the team to beat after going 2-0 so far with wins over Grass Valley and Nevada City. The All-Stars from Nevada City had a quick tournament, being eliminated after losses to Rocklin, 7-1, and Tri-City, 20-18.
Grass Valley’s All-Star team dropped their opening game to Rocklin, 16-8, and were set to face Bear River, who is also 0-1, in an elimination game Friday night. Tri-City (1-1) took on Foresthill (0-1) in the other elimination game Friday night.
As for the team’s yet to drop a game, Lincoln (1-0) will face Sierra Foothills (1-0) at 5 p.m. Saturday, and Rocklin (2-0) takes on Lincoln (1-0) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
13-14 year olds (Junior Division)
After a week of tourney play, Rocklin (2-0) and Lincoln (2-0) remain unbeaten. They will face each other tonight. Grass Valley was 1-1 after losing to Rocklin and topping Nevada City, 13-3. Grass Valley was set to take on Sierra Foothills in the late game Friday. Bear River was also 1-1 heading into Friday night. They lost to Lincoln and got the win over Tri-City. Bear River took on Auburn (1-1) in an elimination game Friday night.
For more information or a complete look at the All-Star Tournament brackets visit http://www.district11llb.com.
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