CONGRATS TO OUR 2016 SABA SEASON CHAMPIONS:
Minors: CANON KIDS
Majors: RED HILL CONVENIENCE
The San Anselmo Baseball Association (SABA) is an independent, community-based, volunteer organization whose mission is to teach and foster the fundamentals of baseball, sportsmanship, the experience of teamwork, participation, and camaraderie. Our goal is to provide an atmosphere where the will to win shall always be secondary to the principles in our mission.
SABA's All-Stars Find Championship Form at the Right Time
By Travis Duro
Being a San Anselmo Baseball All-Star is a great honor for a chosen few youth baseball players in the community. Such players covet the title of SABA All-Star and wear their crimson hats like badges of honor all year round. There is no question that the players that make SABA All-Stars make up a potentially formidable team.
It was Tuesday July 19th the tournament got underway. SABA's first game opponent was the El Cerrito Blue Jays. SABA came out listless and rusty offensively. Over the first five and a half innings the vaunted All-Stars could only muster 2 hits and one run as they found themselves down 2-1 going into their final at bat. Luckily, the All-Stars lived up to their nickname defensively and played an almost flawless game. Kudos to pitchers Luke Alonso, Donovan Duro, and Davis Logan for keeping the game close. Catcher Jonas Salk with his Howitzer arm, in combination with Will Heimbrodt and Zack Castrejon covering second base, did not allow a stolen base the entire game. In the bottom of the 6th things looked promising as fleet footed leadoff hitter Davis Logan beat out a hard hit ground ball which just got past the reach of the Blue Jays first baseman. Davis then stole second but power hitters Luke Alonso and Jonas Salk both struck out. Down to the final opportunity cleanup hitter Donovan Duro brought the home crowd back to life as he tattooed the first pitch he saw. His low line drive to right center field one hopped the fence for a ground rule double and Davis Logan scored. The game was tied and clutch performer Will Heimbrodt strode to the plate with eager anticipation. Will hit a hard ground ball single into right field. The right fielder fielded the ball cleanly in deep right field. Third Base Coach Scott Heimbrodt, with ice water in his veins, sent Donovan, who had a good lead off second, to try for the winning run. The Blue Jays Catcher was in good position as the right fielder crow hopped into his throw. As Donovan rounded third it was clear the play was definitely going to be close. As Donovan dug as hard as he could to come even with the catcher on the baseline the ball from right field bounced past them both. Donovan slid home safely and SABA players stormed onto the field. With congratulatory hugs and high fives all around the All-Stars came off their home field, after an extremely hard fought contest, victorious and in walk off fashion. This was a sign of things to come.
On Saturday we played the Albany Cyclones. We were up first and Davis Logan lead off with a double that landed at the base of the fence, Luke Alonso then walked, and Jonas Salk got SABA emphatically on the board with a dinger to right field. After 2 scoreless frames the Cyclones tied the game. In the bottom of the 3rd, Donovan Duro came into pitch and promptly gave up a solo homer to the Cyclones cleanup hitter. Donovan was shaky. He walked the next two batters but then settled down to come out of the jam and finish that inning and the next inning scoreless with 5 strikeouts. After a rally in the late innings the score was tied 6-6. With two men on base Luke Alonso began his channeling of Babe Ruth as he blasted a 3 run homer. Jonas followed suit with a blast of his own going back to back and making the score 10-6 in the top of the 6th. The game ended with SABA All-Stars earning their second victory.
Game 3 was against the El Cerrito Fury. The story of the game was the long ball and Luke "The Babe" Alonso stole the headlines as he continued to toy with the Fury pitchers, annihilating the baseball every time he came to the plate. Starting from his last at bat in the previous game Luke hit 4 homeruns in 4 consecutive at bats. Drop the mic! Jonas hit his 3rd homer and Donovan chimed in in the late innings with a solo shot of his own. Many players on SABA had multiple hits and the final score was All-Stars 18, Fury 7. With a third win the SABA All-Stars locked up the number one seed going into Sunday’s Semi-Final match up.
On the morning of Sunday, July 24th, confidence among SABA All-Stars was high. Luke Alonso started the game pitching and proceeded to shut the Fury down in the first. Davis leading off in the bottom of the first drove a deep ball into center field which hit the top of the fence just barely missing a homer. Luke Alonso stepped to the plate and it was worth the price of admission. The first ball pitched, was a fast ball inside, which Luke unloaded on pulling a deep drive down the left field line. The ball sailed over the trees and into a neighbor’s yard, a good 60ft beyond the home run marker but foul. Astoundingly the Fury pitcher thought it would be good to throw Luke another fast ball and this time the ball did not go foul. Luke punished the inside pitch for his 5th homerun of the tournament. Jonas Salk continued to stay hot and he blasted his 4th homer of the tournament.
Sayer Smith, Zack Castrejon, and Peter Jones took over the pitching duties and SABA slowly built offensive momentum and continued to play exceptional defense. The final score ended up All-Stars 12, Fury 2. In the second semi-final game of the day the El Cerrito Fury came back to win a close ball game against the Albany Cyclones so the Match up for the Championship game was set.
The Championship Game was scheduled for 2:30 that afternoon. It had taken everything we had to beat The Blue Jays the first time we played them but because we were 4 & 0, on our home field, and coming off 2 particularly dominant hitting performances the team felt they had finally found their stride and it didn't matter who we played we were going to come out on top.
SABA All-Stars were the home team and Davis Logan took the mound. Davis gave up a couple of hits but the defense stiffened and the All-Stars got through the first half inning with no score. So far so good, but the game took on an ominous feel as Davis and Luke both struck out. Then with two strikes on Jonas it appeared that maybe jitters had set in, the baseball gods were against us, and the once scalding All-Star bats had cooled off. Then POW, like a bolt of lightning Jonas hammered the next pitch over the center field fence. Although it was the only run of the inning it was an emphatic demonstration of dominance. There would be more. In the top of the second, SABA gave up the lead as Davis gave up a hit and then a walk. Then All World catcher Jonas Salk uncharacteristically failed to field a ball thrown in the dirt cleanly and a double steal moved the runners to second and third. The next Blue Jay batter hit a ball that had a chance for a home run but fell short and squirted under the fence for a ground rule double and two runs scored. Davis and the All-Stars got out of the inning with no further damage and going into the bottom of the second the Blue Jays were up 2-1. SABA's 5,6, & 7 hitters were due up and Will Heimbrodt tied the score with a majestic and deep homer to right center field. What happened next truly defined the identify of our team. Sayer Smith got a hit. Then Cole Wooster flew out but managed to drive Sayer to second and then third. Next All-Star Zack Castrejon then walked and stole second. Will Douglas then got a hit which drove in 2 runs. Peter Jones then grounded out moving Will over to third. Then call ups Eliot Joslin, Kyle Ford, and Owen Burke Johnson all got hits. The batting order had reached the top and Davis struck out to end the inning but in total 5 more runs had been scored. The score was now 6-2 SABA. The SABA All-Stars moved the line and little did we know at the time those were the last runs we would get and we would need every one. Will Heimbrodt came into pitch and held the Blue Jays scoreless for half an inning. After SABA failed to score and it became apparent that the Blue Jays absolutely were no fluke. Although their team lacked the physically imposing players that our SABA All Stars possessed the Blue Jays were not the type of team that would beat themselves. In fact, their team made no errors in the Championship Game. At the top of the 4th inning things began to get tight. Will Heimbrodt had some control problems and walked 2 batters. Next batter flew out to right field. Eliot Joslin made a great running catch coming in on a low line drive. The next batter hit a sky high pop up which should have been a routine play for the catcher or a foul ball. No one advanced to catch the ball until the last second when Will Heimbrodt made a last second effort to try and catch the ball. Will's mitt touched the ball in fair territory and he did not make the catch. The ball scooted away and a run came into score. Now the score was 6-3 with two men on base and one out. The next batter was left handed and he pulled a ball into right field. It seemed that the ball was hit right to Eliot but the apparent routine ball hooked away at the last second and Eliot could not come up with it. Another run came into score and now it was 6-4 with 2 men on base and 1 only out. Next a Blue Jays player hit straight to Kyle Ford playing second base. The ball looked to be routine but Kyle misplayed it and the bases were then loaded. Kyle Ford then made the play of the game because the next batter scorched a low line drive that looked to be heading for center field. Kyle Ford charged toward the ball catching it at his shoe tops moving to his right. The Blue Jays runner was leading off second base and Kyle's momentum pulled him to the bag and he completed an unassisted double play. The inning was over but SABA again could not muster any runs. Rafe then turned to Jonas Salk to close the last two innings. The first pitch Jonas threw was way outside and low to a right handed batter. The next pitch was high and inside as Jonas reared back definitely trying to impress the batter with his velocity. The Blue Jays batter was definitely intimidated and struck out on the next 3 pitches. Jonas struck out the side and after SABA again could not tack on insurance runs the Blue Jays were down to their final at bat. Jonas walked the first batter and that batter stole second on a wild pitch. Tensions rose but like the true Champion he is Jonas settled in and made pitches. The next two batters hit sharp ground balls to Sayer Smith at third who cleanly threw both runners out at first. Just like we drew it up, the game was over and the SABA All-Stars were tournament champions!
~Full Story go to 12U All-Star tab~
2016 Juniors Tournament
Summer Days and Great Plays
by Travis Duro
At 8:30 am, Saturday July 16th The SABA Juniors Team kicked off their annual Summer Tournament at San Anselmo's Memorial Field with a game against The El Cerrito Thunder.
As well as our Juniors, this year's San Anselmo Baseball Association Tournament featured Teams from West Marin, Pleasant Hill, Burlingame, and two teams from El Cerrito.
The first game of the day featured a pitcher's duel. Antonio Sagaral went 4 strong innings and held the score at 2-1 Thunder. Unfortunately Antonio had to leave the game plagued by arm soreness and SABA ended up losing the game 8-1 with most of the runs unearned. SABA players only accounted for 2 hits in their debut, but played hard none the less.
The second Game was at 5:45pm. Red Hill Field was hot and so were the SABA bats. Max Martin Pitched 4 solid innings and left the game with the score SABA 7and the El Cerrito Diamondbakcs 3. Max Helped his own cause by going 3 for 3 with 2 singles, a triple, and 2RBI's. Denzel Castillo accounted for 3 RBI's on a 300 foot bases clearing triple. With wizard like plays at short stop by Antonio Sagaral and two running catches in right field by Jack Raskowsky SABA looked to be in control going into the final 3 frames. Despite bombing a long double in a last inning attempted comeback and having command of a devastating curve ball Miller Gabe and the SABA juniors could not hold the lead and ended up falling to the Diamondbacks 14-9.
In the third game, held Sunday morning at 9:00, SABA jumped out to an early lead against Pleasant Hill and never looked back. A 10-5 final doesn't do justice to SABAs dominant play with hitting contributions coming from players like Bryant Thornton, Brendon Henry, Antonio Sagaral, Clay Stout, Colby Alonso, and others up and down the line up. Once again Max Martin stood out with a 3 for 4 day including 2 singles a double and 2 RBI's. However the player of the game had to have been Jake white who pitched a masterful 7 full innings giving up very few hits and only 2 runs up until the last half inning. Jake also helped his own cause by ripping a long RBI double.
So SABA advanced to the semi-finals with a chance to play their way into the Championship. They played The El Cerrito Thunder extremely hard making web gems, hitting in timely fashion, and demonstrating focus and grit throughout the contest. Max Marin started the game and battled his way through 4 innings. All our SABA arms were tired so Max gets the warrior of the tournament award for holding SABAs lead at 6-4 going into the top of the 5th inning. As any good team tends to do The Thunder began to square more pitches up. Bryant Thornton and the crew tried valiantly to hold the lead but ended up down 12-6 going into SABAs last at bat. SABA in true championship fashion rallied and mounted a strong comeback but fell short in the end 12-8.
The SABA Juniors played very well demonstrating heart and good sportsmanship throughout the tournament. They were competitive and exciting to watch as they represented the association admirably.
Special mention goes to Casey Bategilla who, in all 4 games SABA played, hit the ball hard literally every time. He and the other 13 and 14 year olds who represented SABA are truly gifted players and even better young men.
Congratulations to the SABA Juniors and many thanks to coaches Tony Sagaral, Brian Henry, and Dan Borgonovo, as well as, all the dedicated parents for supporting the team and our community.
A final congratulations goes to Burlingame who ended up winning the championship against the El Cerrito Thunder 12-1.
The SABA Board would like to thank everyone for a great season. It was filled with great sportsmanship, dedication and hard work. Each night at the park was another reminder of why we love playing local and keeping it local. THANK YOU to all our coaches, parents, snack shack volunteers, umps, and players that made this season such a success. We will see you this summer for our SABA All Stars tournament at Memorial Park, July 19-24 . For now, enjoy your summer!
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