The CV Crush is now in its third year as an independent, local area travel baseball team. Founded as a 10U team in 2009, the Crush players have been together for years and the experience of working together shows.
On Oct. 6 and Oct. 7, the Crush travelled to Riverside to compete in the USSSA Oktoberfest tournament with eight other teams and took home their fifth championship trophy this year.
The Oktoberfest tournament was particularly memorable for the Crush as they were only three outs from elimination in the final inning of their first play-off game against the Pomona Titans.
Down 4-0, the team collectively decided that they did not want to go home and served up a five-run rally with a string of hits by Nate Mendoza, Jacob Zacarias, Will Overstreet and a game winning, walk-off double by Scott Vinceri. Vinceri also worked it on the mound, allowing only two runs over four innings and striking out five.
In the following game, the team faced top AAA division opponent T2. After three hours and 11 innings of a defensive battle expertly pitched by Zacarias, the Crush ripped the game open with a bases loaded double by Ty Langford. Brandon Dieter, Mendoza, Jett Costibolo and Jaimy Blank helped the cause by combining for nine total hits and three RBIs in a sudden barrage that took the tired T2 team by surprise to end the epic game with a score of 11-2. Lorenzo Respicio and Joe Masters buoyed the defense by grabbing every ball hit their way and racking up a big portion of the defense’s 33 outs.
The championship went a little easier as the Crush boys carried the momentum of the previous two hard-fought wins against the Carmelita Chorizeros.
Hits by Lucas Martos-Repath, Mendoza and Vinceri opened a three-run lead in the first inning and then ace pitcher Dieter went to work to shut down a team sporting a history as long as the Crush’s.
CV closer Martos-Repath put away the final six outs to record the save.
The final play of the game summed up the entire weekend when Overstreet leapt into the air then fell to the ground with the ball to rob the Chorizeros of a last ditch, line-drive effort. Strongman batter Costibolo, who also caught 21 of the 24-innings played in the playoff games, and pitcher Dieter, who shut down the opponents’ bats in three separate games, shared the MVP award.