Headed on a road never traveled

Ocean View Little League is the first from District 62 to advance to World Series. It plays its first game Friday.

August 17, 2011|By Mike Sciacca,
  • The Ocean View Little League Majors All-Star team celebrates after Steven Kotkosky (44), second from left, crosses home plate after his two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning.
The Ocean View Little League Majors All-Star team celebrates… (KEVIN CHANG, HB…)

Less than 24 hours after winning the Western Regional championship, the Ocean View Majors All-Star team packed its bags and headed out Sunday on its dream summer vacation: a trip to Williamsport, Pa.

It's a road the league, nor any District 62 team, had yet traveled.

It was destiny, as Ocean View Manager Jeff Pratto said he had thought to himself after his son, Nick, started Ocean View's memorable final at-bat in San Bernardino with a triple. That thought became reality just one pitch later, when Steven Kotkosky clobbered a towering home run in front of an announced crowd of 13,870 that forever changed the course of the game, and Ocean View's future.

"When Steven hits the ball like that, you know it's gone," Ocean View coach Tony Cianca said during the postgame celebration.

Ocean View begins World Series play Friday against Cumberland American Little League of Cumberland, R.I. Cumberland won the New England regional last weekend. Game time is noon and can be seen live on ESPN.


"I am so excited for District 62," said Mark Groh, who has been the chief administrator for the district the past 10 years. "I am so thrilled for the Ocean View families and the players themselves. Heck, I'm excited to be going. I've been involved with Little League since 1980 and I've never been to Williamsport.

"It's going to be a trip of a lifetime. It definitely was their (Ocean View's) time to win it."

Ocean View seemed destined for the Little League World Series well before Saturday's triumph. A trip East looked as though it could be in the cards, what with District 62 set to be well-represented in Williamsport by what took place earlier this year.

Two volunteers within the district — Karen Smith, the 2011 player agent and a snack bar representative at Fountain Valley Little League, and staff umpire Lee Batterman — already had reservations set for Williamsport. Smith is being honored during the tournament as the 2011 Little League Mom of the Year by Little League International. Batterman will work in a variety of positions as a game umpire. He'll be working the basepaths at the World Series for the first time.

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