Mark Lourenzo, Beacon Correspondent
The 2013 Babe Ruth season wrapped up last week and excellent results were seen by the Eel River Valley teams. The 15-16 year old division was dominated by the ERV Dodgers, who went unbeaten for the second year in a row under head coach Greg Timmerman. The final game of the season came down to the final innings, with their undefeated status on the line, the Dodgers came from behind and beat the Eureka Tigers by a score of 8-5. In the 13-14 year old division, Eel River had three teams that competed against five teams based out of Eureka, three teams from McKinleyville and two Arcata-based teams. The ERV teams fared well as the Pirates won league, the Angels and Giants came away with winning records.
The Dodgers spent the better part of the recently completed season dominating in their games against the local competition. ERV for the most part 10-run ruled most teams and games did not go the full seven innings. But as the season wound down the local teams had seen the Dodger pitching multiple games and the competition was starting to catch up with the ERV team. In the final week of the season, the McKinleyville Giants and the Eureka Tigers looked to end the unbeaten run the Dodgers had been on all season.
On June 5 the Giants came to town and a tight game in the early innings was cause for concern for the Dodger faithful. ERV catcher Nolan Cahill produced two RBIs in his first two at-bats to cement his status as the team's most productive hitter. Dodger pitcher Spanky Cordiero took the mound and went on to pitch a complete game keeping the opponents at bay. ERV slowly pulled away from the Giants and the final score read 8-2. It was the fifth win of the season for Cordiero and the Dodgers improved to 13-0 with one game to play.
The very next evening the team hosted the Eureka Tigers for the season finale. In what would prove to be their toughest game of the season, the Dodgers trailed for most of the contest. The Tigers scored two runs in the opening frame against Dodger ace, Myles Borgelin. After a 1-2-3 at bat by ERV, Borgelin came back out and struck out three straight Tigers for his own 1-2-3 inning. ERV then came up to bat and tied the game at two apiece following two errors by the Tigers and aggressive base running by the Dodgers.
Eureka Tiger pitcher Kevan McClary had a fine outing and kept the Dodgers at bay for the better part of the game. The Eureka lefty was buoyed by his offense as the Tigers regained the lead in the top of the 3nd inning on the strength of three singles, the score read 4-2. ERV cut the deficit to 4-3 on Nolan Cahill's RBI double in the bottom of the third but the score would remain that way for a couple of innings. It was the bottom of the 5th inning when the home team broke through.
ERV's Justin Bruce opened the inning with a solid single, then both Borgelin and Cordiero ripped RBI base hits. Three walks and a balk did not help the Eureka pitching efforts and the Dodgers took a 6-4 lead. The Dodgers added two more runs in the sixth inning and Myles Borgelin finished the job he started on the mound as his complete game put the 8-5 win in the books. Borgelin finished with 11 strikeouts in the game and polished off his ninth win of the season as the team finished their 14-0 campaign.
ERV's Nolan Cahill stroked two doubles, Spanky Cordiero had two RBI singles, Justin Bruce got two base hits, as did Kokko Figueiredo. So what's the secret to coach Greg Timmerman's success in going unbeaten for two straight years with the ERV Dodgers?
"We run a good practice and we have a lot of talent here, add good pitching and there you go," Timmerman said as the team celebrated their season. The bulk of the 15-16 year old Babe Ruth talent will move on to American Legion baseball this summer.
In the 13-14 year old division, it was the Eel River Pirates that won the regular season district title. In a league with 14 teams, the Pirates went 17-2 under coach Shiloh Viggers. The ERV Angels finished 14-7 under coach Derek Long and surely one of their biggest wins was a upset of the Pirates in a slugfest back on May 30; the final score read 17-7. The Pirates bounced though as June 1 saw a home win versus the Southern Humboldt A's by a 19-5 score. The third ERV team, the Giants, finished a very respectable 12-9 on the season, coached by Saul Lewis.
The only postseason action for any of the Babe Ruth teams will be in the 14-year-old division as the Eel River All Stars will host the District 1 Tournament on July 5 and July 6. American Legion summer baseball is already in process. The local senior team (19 years and under) is the American Legion Seals, coached by Fortuna's Keith DeMello. The Southern Humboldt 76ers and the Patriots are 17-years-and-under junior teams with plenty of talent from the Fortuna, Ferndale, Southern Humboldt and the outlying areas.
ERV Giants win Little League title, TOC start Saturday
The Eel River Valley Giants won their league title recently with a final record of 14-1 and will be the No. 1 seed locally in the upcoming Tournament of Champions to be held in McKinleyville starting Saturday. The Yankees were the only team to beat the Giants during the regular season, finishing with a record of 13-2, they will be the No. 2 seed from Eel River Little League. The Angels finished with a record of 8-7 and received a at-large berth in the TOC. Eel River was the only league in the district to send three teams to the tournament.
The Eel River Yankees open up the tourney against the unbeaten No. 1 seeded Redwood Empire team on Saturday. The No. 1 Giants face the No. 2 Redwood Empire team in the opening round. Both those games will take place at 5 p.m. on Saturday on opposite fields at the McKinleyville Little League Park. The No. 3 Angels will face the No. 1 seed from Klamath Trinity at 9:30 on Saturday morning. After a district champion is crowned at the TOC it is on to All-Stars for the Little Leaguers. Good luck to all the teams at the tourney.
Photos by Mark Lourenzo/Beacon
1. ERV Giants batter Caleb Ray zeros in on a fastball and turns it into a base hit, as his 13-14 year old Babe Ruth team earned a 12-6 win over fellow Eel River team, the Angels on June 1 in Fortuna. Three days later, the Angels got their revenge as they bested the Giants 11-1, as last week the Babe Ruth season wrapped up with a flurry of games. The ERV Pirates won the league title with a record of 17-2 topping teams from Eureka, Arcata and McKinleyville as well as their fellow Eel River teams.
2. The Eel River Valley Dodgers completed their undefeated season with a 8-5 victory over the Eureka Tigers in their final game on June at Newburg Park in Fortuna. The Dodgers compete in the 15-16 year old division of Babe Ruth baseball and this is the 2nd straight year the team has gone unbeaten under coach Greg Timmerman. Pictured back row left to right: assistant coaches Dan Collins and Shannon Lewis, Michael Keener, Myles Borgelin, Dylan Lourenzo, Spanky Cordiero, Nolan Cahill, coach Timmerman. Front row (l-r) Cameron Baum, Kokko Figueiredo, Kory Dismore, Matt Andersen and Justin Bruce. (not pictured, No. 17 Daylon).