Babe Ruth Baeseball: Tracy 9-year-olds win Central California title
by Bob Brownne
Jul 19, 2012 | 4923 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Joel Romero throws he ball to the infield as they work on a fielding drill during a practice for the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship.  The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Joel Romero throws he ball to the infield as they work on a fielding drill during a practice for the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship. The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Dylan Pilger  (left) and Chantez Herrera chase down a groundball during infield practice with the rest of the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship.  The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Dylan Pilger (left) and Chantez Herrera chase down a groundball during infield practice with the rest of the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship. The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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The Babe Ruth 9U All Star team practices on the Lammersville School ball field as they get ready for a regional championship tournament in Long Beach.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
The Babe Ruth 9U All Star team practices on the Lammersville School ball field as they get ready for a regional championship tournament in Long Beach. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Coach Joe Corso gives Landon Bryant some throwing tips during a practice for the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship.  The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Coach Joe Corso gives Landon Bryant some throwing tips during a practice for the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship. The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Anthony Landa fires the ball to first base during a practice for the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship.  The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Anthony Landa fires the ball to first base during a practice for the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship. The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Coach Chris Pilger talks to his players during a break from practice as the Babe Ruth 9U All Star state championship team gets ready for the regional championship tournament in Long Beach.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Coach Chris Pilger talks to his players during a break from practice as the Babe Ruth 9U All Star state championship team gets ready for the regional championship tournament in Long Beach. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Ryan Villena  catches the ball during an infield practice session with his teammates on the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship.  The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Ryan Villena catches the ball during an infield practice session with his teammates on the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship. The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Chantez Herrera charges the groundball during a practice for the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship.  The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Chantez Herrera charges the groundball during a practice for the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship. The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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River Caluza circles under a pop fly during a practice for the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship.  The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
River Caluza circles under a pop fly during a practice for the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship. The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Joe Corso hits some groundballs to his players during a practice for the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship.  The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Joe Corso hits some groundballs to his players during a practice for the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship. The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Dylan Pilger gets in front of the groundball during infield practice with the rest of the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship.  The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Dylan Pilger gets in front of the groundball during infield practice with the rest of the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship. The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Marcus Corso takes a barehanded grab at the groundball during a practice with the rest of the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship.  The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Marcus Corso takes a barehanded grab at the groundball during a practice with the rest of the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship. The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Robert Crivello gets ready to field a bouncing ground ball as he takes some infield practice with the rest of the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship.  The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Robert Crivello gets ready to field a bouncing ground ball as he takes some infield practice with the rest of the Babe Ruth 9U All Star team that won the state championship. The team is heading to a regional championship tournament in Long Beach. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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When the Tracy Babe Ruth 9-year-old All-Star team gets to its regional tournament next week, team manager Joe Corso can be confident his team has already passed one of the toughest tests it could face this year.

The team earned its place as the 2012 Central California Cal Ripken championship tournament with a seven-game winning streak under triple-digit heat last week, July 10 to 15, in Fresno.

“It was tough. These boys battled all the way through,” Corso said. “Every game they got better, and every game they got stronger.”

The week started with a 7-6 loss to Visalia on July 10 during a day of 108-degree heat at Fig Garden Elementary School in Bullard, a community at the northwest corner of Fresno.

“That was the biggest challenge — that first day especially. It was the kind of heat that takes the wind out of you, it was so stifling,” Corso said.

Corso said his team had to fight its way back up through the losers bracket to make it to the championship game, when the thermometer rose as high as 110.

The week included a 13-3 win over Easton-Caruthers on July 11, a 9-4 win over Bullard on July 12, an 8-6 win over Bakersfield and a 7-6 win over Central on July 13 and 7-5 win over Visalia on July 14.

Tracy had to play Buchanan twice on Sunday, July 15, to win it all. The local all-stars pulled it out with a 10-3 win in the first game and a 13-3 win in the second.

Ordinarily, a week like that pushes a team to the limits of its pitching, as tournament rules prohibit any player from pitching more than six innings in two consecutive games.

But the Tracy team divided pitching duties among Marcus Corso, Anthony Landa and Ryan Villena, a strategy Corso said worked well.

“We were able to mix it up to where not everybody pitched every day,” Corso said. “We even worked it out to where we were able to get some other pitchers in during the tournament for an inning here or an inning there.”

Marcus Corso was the tournament’s most valuable player. Landa and Villena were both named all-tournament players, as were Landon Bryant, Chantez Herrera and Robert Crivello.

Tracy team members also include River Caluza, Jacob DeLeon, DeAngelo Martinez, Dylan Pilger and Joel Romero. Coaches are Sam Crivello and Chris Pilger.

“The nice thing about this team is everybody contributed at some point,” Joe Corso said. “We’d be in a situation where we needed a play or something needed to happen and somebody would step up and make a great hit or make a great RBI.”

That type of performance will serve the team well when it gets to the Pacific Southwest Cal Ripken Regional Tournament, from Tuesday, July 24, to July 28 in Long Beach. Tracy will start with round-robin play against teams from Guam, Hawaii and the host team from Los Altos and then go into a single-elimination bracket.

The 12 teams also include champions and runners up from Northern, Central and Southern California, and champions from Northern and Southern Utah, Nevada and Arizona. Corso figures his team goes in with an advantage.

“The state tournament that we just played is probably one of the toughest in the country,” he said. “I think these guys are as ready as they can be. They’re all fired up and happy to go.”

The team is raising money to help pay for the trip. People who can donate may call Lisa DeLeon at 408-887-8036, or Melissa Corso at 740-8236, or email lisa@tracy

baberuth.org.

• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or brownne@tracypress.com.

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