They're going the distance

Ocean View Little League All-Star team is headed to semifinal game, the furthest they've ever advanced.

August 11, 2010|By Mike Sciacca,
  • Chad Minato pitched the last inning and retired the final three Utah batters in order during 22-0 victory over Washington Little League of Utah at the West Regional in San Bernardino.
Chad Minato pitched the last inning and retired the final… (Bjorn Green )

The wide divide between Williamsport, Pa., and Huntington Beach, has closed significantly for the Ocean View Little League (12-year-old) All-Star team.

That 2,289 mile gap has been reduced to a mere two steps.

Ocean View went 3-1 in pool play at the Little League Baseball Western Regional in San Bernardino in the past week to reserve a spot in the tournament's semifinals. Southern California champion Ocean View, which won its first three games before being bumped off Tuesday by Northern California champ Napa National Little League, will play at either 2 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. Friday, depending on the semifinal seed the locals receive. That seed depended on the outcome of Wednesday's two final pool play games.

Ocean View Manager Tod Minato said his team could be the first or second seed.

Regardless of its seed, this is the furthest the league has advanced in San Bernardino since 2000 when Ocean View lost in the regional final.


A member of that Ocean View team, Hank Conger, gave the team a pep talk last week prior to the start of the Western Regional, Minato said.

"He called them last week to congratulate them and wish them luck," he said of Conger, a 2006 first-round draft pick by the Angels now playing Triple-A ball in Salt Lake City. "He talked to the kids about his experience at the Western Regional and how he cherished that experience."

"It feels good to be this far in the tournament," Ocean View pitcher Logan Pouelsen said. "Our hitting has really come alive. Our whole team is on fire."

The six teams in the Western Regional played four pool-play games during the past six days. Now, the tournament becomes a single-elimination event. The winners of the two semifinal games Friday will meet for the Western Regional championship at 5 p.m. Sunday.

The semifinals and regional final will be televised either by ESPN or ESPN2.

The winner of Sunday's game advances to the Little League World Series in Williamsport.

Ocean View (Southern California), Napa National (Northern California, North Scottsdale (Arizona), Waipio (Hawaii), Mountain Ridge (Nevada) and Washington (Utah) are the Little League (12-year-old) All-Star teams in the Western Regional.

Napa National played Washington (Utah) and Waipio (Hawaii) battled North Scottsdale (Arizona) in Wednesday's final games that will determine the semifinal seeding for the top four teams. The scores from those games weren't available at press time.

Huntington Beach Independent Articles Huntington Beach Independent Articles