Practice, learn, improve: Those were the goals of CSA’s 2021 Mustang-9 Pony tournament team – and they were met.
The team represented the league at the Pony SoCal East Region Mustang-9 tourney, held June 25-June 29 in West Covina. It was CSA’s first Mustang-9 team to compete at Pony since 2018.
Since being formed over Memorial Day weekend, the players, all either 9 or 8 years old, had roughly just 20 days to learn new parts of the game, and drill on old skills. The team practiced up to four times a week.
At the tourney in West Covina, the team kept right on cramming. The CSA group played games on back-to-back-to-back-to-back days against teams from La Cañada, West Covina and Whittier. The squad went 0-3 in pool play, and was eliminated by Whittier in a knockout game on June 28.
Sad ending? Hardly. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all of the children on the team had been shut out of summer baseball in 2020; some had never played tournament ball at any time before. This summer, they got the chance to get in the game; so, happy ending – for them and for their league.
Players on the 2021 CSA Mustang-9 Pony tournament team were Justin Baik, Roberto Del Castillo, Ben Gibson, Dylan Heo, Ryan Hoonanian, Jett Kim, Graham Levine, David Nam, Logan Ryan, Thomas Ryan, Roman Sahakiyan and Connor Sawada.
Submitted Joal RYAN