Babe Ruth All-Stars head to Regionals
For The Madera Tribune
The Madera Babe Ruth 14-year-old All-Star team shows off their championship plaques and banner after winning the Central California State Tournament in Santa Maria last week.
The Madera Babe Ruth 14-year-old All-Star team completed a five-day run by going through the loser’s bracket to capture the Central California Babe Ruth State Tournament Championship last week in Santa Maria.
The All-Stars will next begin play in the Pacific Regionals in Hanford on Monday at 10 a.m. against Arizona champion, Hamilton. With a win, they play Tuesday at 4 p.m. or with a loss, they also play Tuesday at 10 a.m.
This is the third time in the past five times Madera Babe Ruth has sent a team to the Regionals. They sent a team in 2016 and 2019 and there wasn’t a season or postseason in 2020 and 2021.
Team members are Nathaniel Avila, Jeevan Bains, Joshua Cardiel, Freddy Garcia, Ricardo Garcia, Nathan Gray, Christian Guerrero, Brendan Gustafson, Mark Huarte, Aden Lechuga, Alexander Lopez, Joshua McKeever, Eric Nelson, Elias Sablan and Zachary Sanchez. The team is managed by Anthony Cardiel and coached by Seth McKeever and Robert Nelson.
The All-Stars opened the tournament on July 9 with a dominant 14-7 victory over Delano. However, they lost to Lompoc, 4-3 on July 10 to head to the loser’s bracket.
They defeated Northwest Bakersfield, 9-2 on July 11 and invoked the mercy rule against Orcutt, 11-1, later in the day, to stay alive.
In the semifinals, Madera avenged its only loss of the tournament with a dominant 9-1 victory over Lompoc.
Madera faced host Santa Maria in the finals and had to beat them twice. They invoked the mercy rule on the host team 10-0 to force a winner-take-all championship game.
In a back-and-forth game, Madera took a 6-4 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh. Santa Maria pushed over a run, but couldn’t get the tying run across and Madera took home a 6-5 victory for the state championship.
Santa Maria cruised through the first three games of the tournament to head to the finals. They beat their opponents by a combined 49-6 score However, they only managed five runs in two games against Madera.
Meanwhile, even with the loss, Madera outscored its opponents 62-20 (8.6-2.9 runs per game) in the seven games for the championship.