The Folsom American 11-and-12-year-old Majors team reached the District 54 final over the weekend, earning a runner-up finish. Folsom won its first two contests against Hangtown and Maidu before suffering its first loss against El Dorado Hills.
Folsom battled back from a 4-0 deficit to defeat Woodcreek and reach the final in a rematch with EDH, eventually losing 19-4. Folsom had many bright spots, including the play of Justin LaFortune, the pitcher/catcher/shortstop, who batted .450 with a pair of home runs, along with earning the win on the mound against Maidu, for the span of the tournament.
“Justin’s a bulldog,” said Folsom coach Jim Cafarella. “He was probably our best pitcher in this tournament. He hit for a high average and drove in a lot of runs for us. His overall stats for us were pretty impressive.”
Folsom Telegraph: How old are you, what school do you go to and what grade will you be in this fall?
Justin LaFortune: I'm 13. I go to Folsom Middle School and will be in eighth grade.
FT: Do sports run in the family?
JL: My dad played baseball in high school, and my mom was on the varsity softball team. My papa played baseball in college, and both of my grandpas were high school baseball coaches.
FT: How long have you been playing baseball? What position(s) do you play? What do you like best about it?
JL: I have been playing baseball for eight years, and my favorite position is catcher. I like catching because there is a lot of action and you are involved in every play.
FT: Do you play any other sports? What is your favorite sport?
JL: I also play basketball, but my favorite sport is baseball.
FT: What is your top baseball memory? Why?
JL: When I hit a walk-off in a wood bat tournament in Tahoe when I was 9. It was my first walk-off.
FT: What’s your favorite class/subject in school and why?
JL: My favorite subject in school is math because I enjoy it.
FT: Favorite sports team?
JL: San Francisco Giants.
FT: Favorite professional athlete?
JL: Buster Posey.
FT: Favorite Food?
JL: My favorite type of food is chicken strips.
FT: What inspires you in sports?
JL: What inspires me in sports is to work your hardest and push yourself to be your best.
FT: Do you have any interesting hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time?
JL: I like to hang out with friends and play basketball or swim during my free time.
FT: What do you think you might want to do when you grow up?
JL: I would like to be an engineer when I grow up.
FT: What are your plans for the rest of the summer?
JL: For the summer, I play with Hard 90, a travel ball team, so I plan to play more baseball.