Featured SPORTS

Little League postseason is underway

Pitcher Dylan Modic of the fourth-seeded Blue Jays throws a pitch against the fifth-seeded Braves in a Scripps Ranch Little League Majors 12u playoff game on May 15. The Blue Jays won 12-5. (photo by Lisa Shadburn)

Little League postseason is underway

By Hector Trujillo

The Scripps Ranch Little League (SRLL) closed out another successful season with noteworthy individual and team performances which more than made up for the slow start due to the inclement weather that hit the county in the months of February and March.

SRLL finished up its playoffs last month which included the Championship Kickoff Day on May 20.

“We tried to make up for our Opening Day being rained out,” said league President Avi Barat. “And then we had a soft Opening Day because the fields were still wet from the rain.” 

The Championship Kickoff Day had a large attendance in which sportsmanship awards were presented and representatives from the San Diego Padres, including the Friar, were among those present. Playoff games from all divisions as well as a Challenger Division game vs. Rancho Penasquitos Little League were also being played on that day.

“After Championship Kick-off Day, the regular season concluded with most division championships before Memorial Day weekend and a few others the week after,” Barat said.

Postseason was kicked off with the District 32 Tournament of Champions (TOCs) for the Minor, Intermediate and Major divisions. The SRLL Rubber Duckies Minors team won the District 32 Tournament of Champions. It was led by Jayden Chou and Kieran Wingate who pitched a combined no hitter in a 10-0 win over Mira Mesa.

The Intermediate team representing SRLL in TOCs was the Angels who finished in third place with the Majors team (Padres) winning the tournament in its respective division on June 11. The Padres win came thanks to a no-hitter from pitcher Heath Thompson in a 1-0 victory over Rancho Penasquitos. Thompson
only allowed one walk and had 16 strikeouts in six innings.

“It is something very extraordinary that you rarely see,” Barat said. “Rancho Penasquitos had a really good pitcher, too. It was a fun game where our team came out on top, but it was very close and exciting the entire time.”

This was the second year that Barat was in charge of the league, which is a non-profit, all volunteer league. Approximately 550 kids across nearly 55 teams took part in this season.

“This year was fun and I really enjoyed it. It is a lot of work, but I like being a part of it as well as a part of the community. I like seeing the kids learn more about baseball and improve their baseball skills while being around their friends and having fun doing it,” Barat said. “Also, if we didn’t have all the volunteer help from the parents and especially our board of directors, running the league would be impossible without them.”

Now, the league All Star teams go into action.

“We now have All Stars coming up in June and then Fall Ball sign-ups will begin within the next month. Check out our website (scrippsranchll.org) for All Star results and signups,” Barat said. 

In 2022 the 11u All Star team captured the District 32 championship for a second-straight year, defeating Coronado in the final game 15-3 and eventually finishing second in state competition.