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September 20, 2020
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U10 Cal Ripken champions say Aloha

By: Lanny Lowery
July 12, 2019

Photo 1: The Rohnert Park Cal Ripken U10 baseball team held a car wash fundraiser on Sat., July 6 at Mobil 1 Lube Express to help raise funds for their travels to play in the Regional Tournament in Honolulu, HI. There was a steady stream of cars that came by to help support the team, but it was the police car that all the boys wanted a hand in washing. The team appreciates all the support they have been receiving in all their fundraising efforts.

Photo by Jane Peleti

 

Photo 2: The Rohnert Park Cal Ripken U10 team are headed to Hawaii! The team participated in the State Tournament held in Elk Grove during the week of June 22-28 and defeated Oakland 4-2 to claim the NorCal State Championship title. The team is now headed to Hawaii, July 13-21 to play in the Cal Ripken Regional Championship games.

Photo by Jane Peleti

                                                                                                        

Rohnert Park Blue 10-year-old all-stars pulled off a narrow win in the state competition in Bakersfield at the end of June.  Now focused on two weeks of practice, the team prepares for the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament that will begin in Honolulu this weekend.

Head coach Erik Tucker reviewed the long season and the recent regional tournament.  Tryouts in Feb., the regular season began in March.  Then the top 10-year-olds merged together to make up the Blue All Star team.  

Many of the players made up last year’s 9-year-old team which won the regional championship.  The Bakersfield tournament saw the Blue play seven close games.  They won the first three and then lost to Oakland by one run in an extremely well played game.  The team rallied to defeat Oakland and claim the regional title.

Coach Tucker, assisted by coaches Jim Lemons, Dylan McReynolds and Ryan Bullard, recalled an important game of the tournament. Dylan McReynolds pitched five outstanding innings, sparing use of many relief pitchers to beat Elk Grove 7-3.  

In the important game against Oakland, Marshall Lemons pitched five innings.  The Blue knocked out the opponent’s best pitcher in the second inning and Roman Torres homered as the Rohnert Park team won 4-3.  In the second game, Torres hit two homers while Matai Faagata tossed three great innings and Legend Haile added another three outstanding pitched innings.  Blue won 4-2 and became the state champions.

On Sun., July 14, Blue begins its play in Honolulu.  The team, guaranteed four games, will be placed in one of three brackets.  Then, if it continues its winning ways, it will move to single elimination games.

Tucker, who has coached for eight years, uses positive motivation to inspire his players.  When Blue was faced with winning three games in a row to claim the regional tournament, Tucker marked three dashes in its player’s ball cap.  When Blue won a game, Tucker crossed off a dash.  The idea was to keep the players in the moment and take one game at a time.

Look for these boys to come through in Hawaii:  Marshall Lemons, Roman Torres, Joshua Tucker, Dylan McReynolds, Matai Faagata, Blake Kearney, Jamie Norts-Vositos, Legend Haile, Anthony Barbato, Gauge Cummings, Nate Greiner-Hicks, Dario Sparks and Junior Fernandez.

Coach Tucker pointed out some of the challenges on the field and off.

“The Rohnert Park Cal Ripken 10 Blue All Stars are 2019 Northern California State Champions and are headed to the Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament in Honolulu, Hawaii, that takes place between July 13 and 20.  

This amazing group of boys and their families began their State Tournament on Sat., June 22 in Elk Grove.  They played their hearts out and went to the State Championship as the underdog needing to defeat the Oakland All Stars twice to win the tournament.  The boys came to play winning the first game 4-3 and the second 4-2.

“These boys have played together for the last three All Star seasons and are now back-to-back State Champions.  

“While this is an exciting and amazing time for 10 Blue All Stars, traveling to Hawaii comes with major expenses.  The team has had bake sales at Oliver’s Market in Cotati.  They have also set up a Go Fund Me account.  No donation is too small and everything is greatly appreciated: https://gofundme.com/f/rp-10-blue-road-hawaii?”

Coach Tucker will send updates during the trip.  Look for a complete recap of the tournament near the end of July.