EDH Major All-Stars run the table to District 54 titleBy: Nick Pecoraro
The driveway and parking lot at Deputy Jeff Mitchell Field in El Dorado Hills was lined with cars decorated by proud parents of the EDH 11-and-12-year-old Majors team, who persuaded Coach Jim Bazor to get to the yard before 7 a.m. on a Saturday for some early batting practice.
The early work paid off with interest, as EDH exploded for 15 runs, including five home runs, in the top of the first inning against Folsom American en route to a 19-4 championship-sealing victory in the finals of the District 54 Little League tournament.
EDH rapped out 18 hits in the finale of the Majors division tourney, where they went an unprecedented 5-0. All of the EDH parents can now add the word “Champs” to their vehicles.
“The boys earned it. They put in a lot of work,” said Coach Bazor. “I was going to call (batting practice) off early this morning, and they were like, ‘no, Coach, let’s get there early before seven and get some BP,’ and I was like, ‘alright, let’s do it’.”
Dylan Warren began the offensive eruption with a two-run homer. Reese Catchings followed with a solo shot — he would add another solo homer in the second inning — before Joe Carroll hit his second grand slam in as many games. Nick Salcido and Cade Gargani each hit pinch-hit two-run homers to contribute to the 15-run first.
“The depth of our hitting has been phenomenal this season,” said Bazor. “The boys have adapted an approach at the plate where they’re not going to get cheated when they swing.”
EDH defeated Folsom American 11-6 in the semifinals on Thursday night behind Carroll’s huge performance (three-for-four with two home runs, including a grand slam, and six RBIs). Warren was a stopper out of the bullpen, throwing 2 2/3 hitless frames, while striking out six to help EDH advance to the finals.
EDH does not lack for confidence in approaching the upcoming sections tournament.
“We’re going to win sections, and then we’re going to win state,” said Carroll.
EDH opens the section tournament at Roseville High School at 5 p.m. Friday against either District 5 or District 11. If they lose, they will play at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, and if they win, their next game is at 11 a.m. Saturday.
10 & 11-year-olds
The 10-and-11-year-old EDH team nearly played itself back into the finals from the losers’ bracket. EDH lost to Lakeside in the opening round on June 30 before winning three straight eliminations games by an average margin of 14 runs.
Coach Wes Clanton’s squad finished two wins shy of reaching the finals as their run came to an end on Friday with a 6-1 loss to Ponderosa.
“We gave an all-around solid team effort,” said Clanton. “Those boys were grinding, and I could not be more proud of them.”
Brady Rea (.550 with three homers) and Kaden Koschik provided home run power throughout the tournament. In the second round (EDH’s first elimination game), Rea, Nick Pallari, Tyler Clanton and Dylan Westbrook combined for a 13-0 no-hitter to inject momentum and life into the EDH team. Andrew Del Pizzo and Ryan Throckmorton were also standouts on the mound for EDH (3-2).