The CSA 8U Tournament Team started out slowly this tournament season, but finished strong, winning the VCAA Champions of Summer tournament in Encino on July 19.
After two tournaments and only a short time playing together, they entered this tournament with a 1-4-1 record, which coaches felt was not a good indication of their growing talent. Two of their four losses were one run games in extra innings, so their record was deceptive and it showed in their final tournament in Encino.
In an eight-team tournament, they started out 1 and 1 and were the No. 5 seed. Over the next three days, they knocked off the No. 6, the No. 3 and the No. 2 seeds to get to the championship game against the No. 1 seed.
This team, Cheviot Hills Aces, had beaten them 12-2 in CSA’s first ever tournament game. However, this was a different team ready to put in an all around team effort for a tournament championship.
Evan Boyle led the team with 22 RBIs overall and hit .487. Jordan Lamm made solid plays in center field to keep CSA in the game, and was a key lead-off hitter. Nathan Hunstable was a vacuum at shortstop catching everything hit his way defensively and his .486 batting average was equally impressive offensively. Braden Lowe pitched six scoreless innings in the final two games to keep CSA in the tournament, and hit .455. Adam Geller was a rock behind the plate, throwing out base runners, hitting .433, and was second in RBIs. Outfielders Zachary Roh, Nolan Morrissey, Jake Weingarten, Teddy Amorosi and Artin Shenian (who also played second base) made key hits when needed and also kept runners from taking that extra base each and every time. Mark Valenzuela made key plays at third throughout the tournament, while Nick Grajeda pitched a gem against the No. 2 seed and was reliable on every play at first base.
In the final game, CSA had a 5-4 lead after three innings, and solid defense and pitching continued to prove vital, while Lowe and Geller combined to pitch scoreless innings from there out, holding onto the lead and the title.
By Paul Gellar