Palisades Baseball Series Champs Crowned

Pacific Palisades Baseball Association players hit the field twice a week this spring, and usually added a third day for batting and fielding practice. Their progress was on display starting May 13 at the Field of Dreams when the double-elimination World Series tournament got underway for all three divisions.

PPBA Commissioner Bob Benton was on hand for the games, with the final ones played on June 1.

The traditional awards ceremony, which recognizes good sportsmanship and outstanding players, was held last Saturday, June 3, along with the All-Star games. One of the biggest prizes for the World Series winners will be a chance to ride in the town’s Fourth of July parade.

Champions in the Pinto division were the Dodgers.

Champions in the Pinto division were the Dodgers.

PINTOS

In the Pinto division, the Dodgers, coached by Douglas Silberberg, reached the championship game with three straight victories. The Tigers, coached by Darren

Wald, lost to the Dodgers in game two on May 20 (10-5). They battled their way back from the bottom bracket, ultimately defeating Eric Foster’s Yankees, 12-4, to gain another shot at the Dodgers on May 31.

Even though it was a close battle and not decided until the final inning, Dodger players Luke Jacobs, Asher Collar, Nathan Silberberg, Max Conchuratt, Holden Ames, Jacob Yoon, Ryan Klein, Claudio Acuna, Gavin Knyal, Donovan Del Negro, Toby Daneshrad, Malek Shamonki and Max Palmer finally prevailed, 11-7.

Coach Silberberg said, “The most important thing about my players is they never gave up. Through this season, they learned that hard work, practice, hustle and good sportsmanship all do really pay off and make a better player.” During the season, his Dodgers were 13-6, while the Tigers finished 11-6.

MUSTANGS

The Orioles and the Phillies played two close, tense games before the Orioles captured the coveted title.

The Phillies, who were 10-7 in the regular season, blew through the upper bracket— beating the Red Sox (7-5), the Cardinals (11-6) and the Orioles (10-5)—to reach the championship.

But the Orioles were “The Little Engine that Could.” Although they finished just 7-10 during the regular season, they started the tournament with wins against the Cubs (7- 6) and the Tigers (6-4), before losing to the Phillies and dropping to the lower bracket. They came back with a vengeance and defeated Joshua Morrow’s Cardinals, 21-5, to advance to the championship game.

The Mustang Orioles defeated the Phillies on June 1 at the Field of Dreams to win a PPBA World Series title. Parents, grandparents and friends cheered at two other diamonds as the Pinto and Bronco Dodgers also won championships.

The Mustang Orioles defeated the Phillies on June 1 at the Field of Dreams to win a PPBA World Series title. Parents, grandparents and friends cheered at two other diamonds as the Pinto and Bronco Dodgers also won championships.

Steve Yi’s Orioles—Matthew Commons, Michael Conner, Teddy Grandy, Roman Hawk, Aydan and Dhilan Martin, Jack Mitchell-Newall, Anderson Pietrzak, Ethan Seung, Jake Treibatch, Captain Wagner and Beckett Yi—battled Bill Lawrence’s Phillies, who were 10-7 during the season.

On May 31, the Orioles won the opener, 12-6, but the game a day later was a real nail-biter. The lead seesawed back and forth between the 9 and 10-year-old players, until the final out, when the Orioles realized they had won, 9-8, and cheers erupted.

Yi, who was assisted by Dennis Hawk and Eric Treibatch, said the key thing his players learned “was to never stop battling and believing in themselves no matter the situation. “In their last four playoff victories, including the two championship games versus the Phillies, they came from behind to win,” Yi said. “This grit was emblematic of the resiliency they showed the entire season.”

BRONCOS

Jim Ford’s Dodgers won the National League division with a 15-6 record, but lost their tournament opener against the Cubs (13-8) on May 16. They then bounced back to beat the Cardinals (15-13), the Yankees (17-8) and the Cubs (9-8) to gain the championship round against the Orioles.

Bronco Dodgers won the World Series June 1.

Bronco Dodgers won the World Series June 1.

The Orioles, coached by Edward Gargiulo and assistant Steven Abraham, also won their division with a 13-7 record and advanced by beating the Cardinals (8-6), the Red Sox (13-8) and the Cubs, 18-6.

With two even teams and experienced coaches, spectators knew they were in for some good baseball and they weren’t disappointed. On May 30, the Dodgers prevailed 9-6 to force a second game on June 1.

Thursday’s game could have gone either way, with the lead bouncing back and forth from inning to inning. In the bottom of the sixth and final inning, the Orioles were up by two runs, 15-13, but the Dodgers managed to tie the game and had a runner on third with two out. Then a hit by Dylan Ardizzone scored the winning run and Saxon Wald, CW Ford, Rowan Jen, Brennan Clark, Will Andrews, Harrison Rautbort, Andrew Lubliner, Alexander Schultz and Alex Shapiro all celebrated.

Ford has been coaching for 11 years, and with his boys aging out of PPBA, this championship is an appropriate finale.

“It was an incredible year with our team losing our first playoff game after a great regular season, only to win five straight to win,” Ford said. “There are a couple great lessons. The first is to never give up. And the second is that baseball is great because you can’t always get the bat to your best guy in a clutch situation.

He praised his team and said, “Everyone needs to contribute to win. Our number eight hitter got the walk-off hit to win.”

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