HOOTS WIN "STRIKE OUT LOU GEHRIG'S DISEASE" STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
The HOOTS won the Ninth Annual "STRIKE OUT LOU GEHRIG DISEASE" Natural Balance Cup 18U State Championship held at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. After losing their first game 2-0, they won 4 games in a row to bring the Championship back to Northern California. Both final games were won as walk off victories for the Northern Calfornia team. The HOOTS defeated the Playa Vista Orioles 3-2 in the semi final game with a game winning bottom of the 7th inning single from Marcus Wise to score Blake Hannah with the winning run. Alex Trautner and Tyler Deason combined on the mound for the HOOTS.
The Championship game between the HOOTS and the SoCal Bombers was won by the HOOTS 3-2 in extra innings. With the score tied 2-2, and the HOOTS the home team with 2 outs, Wise stole second base and scored the winning run on a single by TJ Friedl. Four HOOTS pitchers combined for the win. Spencer Johnson threw the final inning to keep the score tied 2-2.
"Our guys here were outstanding, as a mix of a few of our seniors leading the way and our underclass players taking the future into their hands. We did something for someone else in terms of raising money to help fight Lou Gehrig Disease for the ALS Foundation. One of our players lost his grandfather to the disease last year so it hits close to home. And, we proved to everyone how good a team we are winning the Connie Mack North State Championship and coming here and winning the Natural Balance Cup and State title. I am very proud of these players, they will be remembered for what they gave and what they accomplished." Manager Don Johns at the closing ceremony.
The HOOTS Connie Mack team qualified for the West Regional Tournament in Seattle, Washington but choose not to attend because of extensive travel cost due to the North State Championship not ending until late Sunday night. The West Regional began on Wednesday with no time to plan. The team will head south to Southern California to participate in the "Strike Out Lou Gehrig's Disease" tournament starting on Friday July 25 at Cal Lutheran College in Thousand Oaks. The tournament features some of elite 18U teams in California and they will be playing for the right to claim the State Championship. The tournament started in 2005 and this year will be the first year to include 18U elite teams.
The tournament is hosted by Ventura County baseball organizations, Natural Balance, and the ALS foundation. "Everyone can help Strike Out Lou Gehrig Disease." The web site can be found at www.leaguelineup.com/alsbaseball//