But what Rancho San Diego will ultimately remember is moving on to the Division III championship in the 9/10 age-group for the second straight year. And again it was Ocean View on the losing end, 11-0 in five innings this time July 29 at the Newmark Little League field
It was too similar to last year for Hagen Danner and Nick Pratto. The only two holdovers from last year’s squad made it to the same Sub-Division tournament, against a Rancho San Diego team that returned five from last year’s squad.
Same tournament, same team and same result, even after being up, 3-0, against Rancho San Diego the night before. But Ocean View’s lead slipped away, 4-3 in eight innings, and Rancho San Diego came out focused in the “if necessary” game.
“It just sucks,” said Danner, who played catcher in the final game.
Added Cianca: “We thought we would win. Every time we lost [to Robinwood in district play and South Mission Viejo in section play], we mercied the team in the next game.”
Rancho San Diego, the Section 7 champion, instead broke open a scoreless game Thursday by scoring five runs in the third, the key hit being a three-run homer to left by shortstop Nick Allen. That came while pitcher Pratto was clearly frustrated, after an error behind him and a walk.
“I tried to focus, but my mind was just everywhere,” Nick Pratto said. “It’s OK. We’ll get them next year.”
Allen, whose father, Tom, manages the club, finished three for four with two doubles and six runs batted in.
Tom Allen said the plan was to be patient at the plate, driving up Nick Pratto’s pitch count with Ocean View’s other top pitchers Danner and Anthony Martinez unavailable to pitch. And Rancho San Diego did walk five times.