High Praise for South Pasadena Little League Team

After coming up short in their quest for the Little League Juniors West Region Baseball Tournament championship, the South Pasadena team, representing Southern California, is recognized for its strong effort on social media.

PHOTO: Alberto Ocon | The South Pasadenan | Coaches speak to team following South Pasadena’s 10-6 loss Tuesday to Northern California at the Little League Juniors West Region Baseball Tournament in Bend, Oregon.

In the end, following South Pasadena’s second loss, ending the team’s hopes of winning the Little League Juniors West Region Baseball Tournament and advancing to the World Series, came an unleashing of praise for a group of 13-14 year-old baseball all-stars.

From Monte Murray on Facebook, sang the words: “Congratulations on a great run!” paying tribute to the team representing Southern California that was handed a 10-6 loss by Northern California Tuesday at the double elimination tourney in Bend, Oregon.

South Pasadena finished among the top four in the 12-team tournament field, stopped short of heading to Michigan to take on the nation’s best junior division clubs.

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Other Facebook readers weighed in, including Mindy White Dwyer, who noted, “Super proud of the boys and all their hard work. Thank you coaches and everyone else who supported the boys throughout their season.”

Moved by the team’s success, Ed Lee contributed: “Amazing journey – hats off to the players and coaches for an amazing season and experience of a lifetime.”

Launching the Facebook thread of positive comments was South Pasadena Little League President Alberto Ocon, who pointed out it was the “first baseball team in the 71 years of SPLL to win a state championship and reach the West Region.”

His comment was amplified by Stephen Leider who exclaimed on his Facebook Post: “Congratulations to the best season ever for a South Pasadena team! Bravo!!!”

The local unit opened tournament play with victories over Nevada (14-1) and Idaho (7-3) before falling to Washington (11-1) for its first loss. South Pasadena rebounded by turning away Montana 10-0, setting up Tuesday’s must-win contest against their Northern California foe, a team from Dublin in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Had South Pasadena got past Northern California, it again would have faced Washington, which fell 19-1 to tournament favorite Hawaii on Tuesday. A win against Washington would have put them in the finals against Hawaii.

Maria Madrid was among those casting her thoughts on Facebook about the team from South Pasadena. “Congratulations for making it this far! I’m sure they made memories to last a lifetime.”

The group of 15 Southern California all-stars included: Chris Cortinez Jr., Cody Robinson, Grayson Ebner, Ian Wong, Julian Barnes, Kory How, Matt Rogers, Lee McWilliams, Lucas Becerra, Lucas McCollum, Mason Wakumoto, Michael Ludena, Spencer Rolfe, Tyler Wilson and Zach Park.

Dedicating much of their summer to coaching the talented team were Charlie Wilson, Chris Cortinez, Devin G. Robinson and Tom Rogers.

Taking notice of South Pasadena’s feat of going deep in the tourney was Ocon, the SPLL league president, who knew from the start there was something special about the team’s ability. “Proud of our boys, coaches, and families,” he wrote on Facebook as he thanked all those providing support. “Without your help, this would not have been possible!”