By Roger SONDERGAAARD
“Success” has many forms and many definitions including one by motivational speaker Zig Ziglar: “Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph.” Success may be defined differently in different situations. For the four CSA all-star teams that took to the fields in Irvine over the Memorial Day weekend, all ended with successful outings in their own ways.
The 9U boys came up just one run short on the first day against a very strong Coyotes team that went 3-1 in the tournament. Heading into their final game with a record of 0-3 and set to face Baseball West Coast 2, who had only one loss, things were not looking good for CSA. But the 9U boys dug deep as their bats and defense came alive, winning 18-8 over West Coast.
Despite their young age, the 10U boys are one of the more experienced teams for CSA. Many of these boys played together on the same tournament team for several years under the same coaching and it showed. The team finished their pool play with four wins and no losses including a gritty win in their first game over Mexico/Bernal. The next three games they “mercied” their opponents by being ahead 10 or more runs after four innings. After winning their pool, they went on to defeat the host Irvine Mustang- White team 4-1 in the semi-finals. In the final against Mexico/Culiacan, they fell just short in a defensive and pitching battle 2-1. The boys ended up in second place out of 20 teams in their 10U group.
The 11U boys are perhaps the least experienced tournament team from CSA with only a handful of players who have played in a few tournaments. Uncertain of what to expect, they got a taste of everything at the Irvine tournament. They started out with a loss against the OC Wolves travel team who ended up 6-0 and were the tournament champions. Coming off the defeat, the team was down to the Toluca Thunder for the majority of the game, but rallied to tie the game in the seventh inning as time expired. Going into the third game, they were to face crosstown rival La Cañada who beat them just a week earlier in a scrimmage. The CSA team came out strong and played flawlessly en route to a 14-4 mercy. Their final game was a great game from start to finish against the East Valley Eagles. The game was tied 5-5 going into the bottom of the seventh inning when the Eagles managed to squeak out a one run victory. Despite the loss, the boys held their heads high and had a great first tournament.
The 12U boys are another very experienced team for CSA. Many of these boys have played together in tournaments. Despite being placed in one of the tougher groups, the team went 4-0 in their group play. They started out with a one run victory over the IWV Sidewinders who also won their pool and made the playoffs. After two more victories, CSA 12U had a must win game to win their pool and get into the playoffs. They came out strong against Brea Pony and cruised to a 15-0 victory. The win put them into the playoffs against Savage on Monday. Once again, the 12U team got ahead early and never looked back, winning 12-2. This set up the championship game between CSA and the Santa Ana Aztecs, who allowed only four runs in five games. It was a tough game with CSA falling short in the end, 5-2, to finish second in the tournament.
For the CSA teams there were many highlights from the individual games and many strong performances on the mound, at the plate and in the field. More importantly, every CSA player had a positive experience and tasted “success.”