The team was the youngest Tracy Babe Ruth team in the league’s 36-year history to make it to a regional championship game. The team also is the youngest from Tracy to win a state title, which it accomplished at the Central California Cal Ripken Torunament on July 15 in Fresno.
Hawaii won the regional championship game 7-5, on Saturday, July 28, in a contest that went Tracy’s way up until the end.
Team manager Joe Corso said that the team consistently played to other teams’ strengths, losing only to the all-stars from Manoa, Hawaii. The Hawaii team went 6-0 for the tournament and beat all of its opponents, except Tracy, on the 10-run mercy rule.
Corso said that his team jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and stayed in the lead into the sixth inning. Marcus Corso was the starting pitcher and Ryan Villena and Anthony Landa pitched relief. Catcher Landon Bryant, Tracy’s cleanup batter, was a key contributor at the plate.
Tracy was ahead 6-5 going into the bottom of the sixth, when Hawaii took advantage of its last team at-bat by scoring two runs to win.
Throughout the tournament teams highlighted individual players by having each team select a most valuable player from its opposing teams in every game.
Marcus Corso was game MVP for his hitting and defensive play at third base in Tracy’s 7-5 semifinal win over Oakland on Saturday. Pitchers Anthony Landa and Villena and the Tracy defense kept the Oakland team in check.
Villena pitched the fourth game, a 5-4 win over against Oxnard on Friday, July 27, to gain MVP honors. Oxnard Tracy overcame a 4-2 deficit in the bottom of the sixth with Dylan Pilger stealing home on a passed ball to score the winning run.
Robert Crivello was Tracy’s MVP against Hawaii on Wednesday, June 25. It was a 6-2 loss for Tracy. Corso said that the game was closer than the score indicates based on Tracy’s performance at the plate, but the Tracy team also left the bases loaded in both the fourth and fifth innings.
“That team (Hawaii) made some outstanding major-league plays,” Corso said. “It was impressive.”
The Guam team selected Marcus Corso for game MVP after Tracy’s 19-1 win on Tuesday, July 24. Corso’s hitting was strong enough that he was intentionally walked twice during this game.
Afterward, he handed his MVP award to first baseman Joel Romero, who went four-for-four against Guam and also made a double play on defense.
“That really brought the team together and was a great sign of sportsmanship,” Joe Corso said, adding that it was an inspiring moment that the team carried through the rest of the week.
In Tracy’s 6-0 win over Los Altos on Monday, July 23, the Los Alto team chose Tracy catcher Bryant as MVP after he quickly intimidated the Los Altos base runners with his put-out throws to second on attempted steals. Bryant caught every inning for Tracy through the state and regional tournaments, with the exception of one four-inning game during the Central California tournament in Fresno.
Corso, Villena, Landa and Crivello were all selected to the All-Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament Team.
Tracy also took top honors in two of the three opening day contests. Corso won the home run derby, and the Tracy team won the “Around the Horn” base-running event, with Jake DeLeon, Chantez Herrera, Bryant, Crivello and Landa leading the way. The
Tracy Babe Ruth 9U All-Stars also includes DeAngelo Martinez, and River Caluza. Coaching staff includes Sam Crivello and Chris Pilger.
The Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament is the highest level for 9-year-olds. Up next for the team is a visit with the Tracy City Council, which will honor the team at its Tuesday, Aug. 7 meeting.
• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.