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Locals on verge of advancing

Ocean View Majors All-Star team was one win from advancing to Little League Divisionals.

July 27, 2011|By Mike Sciacca, michael.sciacca@latimes.com
  • Ocean View's Hagen Danner is congratulated by third-base coach Tony Cianca after hitting a home run against Canyon Springs' at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley on Monday.
Ocean View's Hagen Danner is congratulated by third-base… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

The Ocean View Little League Majors All-Star team followed its gameplan to near perfection Monday.

In a Southern California Sub-Division tournament game at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley, Ocean View worked though six innings as if it were involved in a chess match, pitting wits and strategies against Canyon Springs.

The local 12-year-old All-Stars took the upper hand in the tournament by scoring a 5-1 victory that left Ocean View as the lone undefeated team in the five-team, double-elimination event. The District 62 and Section 10 champions advanced to the championship game series Wednesday. Ocean View faced once-beaten Park View of Chula Vista (Section 7), which on Tuesday routed Canyon Springs (Section 9), 12-1, in an elimination game. The score from Wednesday's game wasn't available at press time.

The winner of the tournament advances to the Division tournament best-of-three series that runs Saturday and Sunday, and if needed Monday at Cortez Park in West Covina. The winner of the Division tournament secures a spot in the Western Region Little League Baseball tournament that starts Aug. 5 in San Bernardino.

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Encinitas National (Section 6) and Fontana Community (Section 8) also competed for the Sub-Division title at Mile Square Park, but each was eliminated earlier in the week.

Ocean View defeated Fontana, 13-2, in a tournament opener for both teams Saturday.

Monday's showdown between Ocean View and Canyon Springs began nearly an hour later than it's scheduled 8 p.m. first-pitch time, but that didn't prevent the fireworks from starting early. They were provided by pitchers Isaac Flores of Canyon Springs and Hagen Danner of Ocean View, who all but matched actions verbatim.

In the top of the first, Danner ripped a 1-2 fastball for a towering home run that reached the parking lot, well beyond the fence in left field. Flores shook off the blast and proceeded to strike out the next three batters.

Although Danner's homer put Ocean View in the early lead, Manager Jeff Pratto said he felt the game was far from over.

"I knew that hit wasn't going to win the game," he said. "But it sure was a great way to set the tone."

In the bottom half of the inning, it was Flores' turn.

The big right-hander led the Canyon Springs order and returned the favor to Danner by clobbering a full-count pitch that traveled nearly the same distance Danner planted his homer. Like Flores, Danner then fanned the next three batters.

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