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Baseball Youth Sports

Long Beach’s Los Altos 9s All-Star Team Wins Cal Ripken State Tourney

The Los Altos 9s All-Star baseball team out of El Dorado Park in Long Beach claimed the Cal Ripken SoCal States title last weekend in Simi Valley, punching their ticket to the Cal Ripken Regionals in Tulare later this month, where they’ll compete against the best teams from Hawaii, Guam, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona.

The core of the Los Altos 9s won the Socal States tournament as well as Regionals last year in the 8 year-old division, just the third Los Altos team to win Regionals in any age group.

In Simi Valley, they won their first two games via mercy rule, defeating Long Beach Uptown 15-0 (three innings) and host Simi Valley 12-1 (four innings). Carson Prince pitched a complete-game shutout in the first game, allowing just one hit and striking out seven, while Gannon Wells pitched all four innings in the second game, allowing one earned run and three hits while striking out seven.

In the championship, Los Altos defeated the Beach City Cyclones 4-3 in an extra innings thriller. Lucas Miller pitched five shutout innings for Los Altos, scattering two hits and striking out six, as his team built a 2-0 lead as Gannon Wells doubled in Mateo Valadez and Evan Gallo sacrificed Carson Prince in.

The Cyclones took the lead in the top of the sixth inning, going up 3-2. Los Altos answered in the bottom of the sixth with their backs against the wall, as Oliver O’Connor smacked a line-drive double to left center to score Prince, tying it up at 3-3 and forcing extra innings.

Valadez got two strikeouts to end the top of the seventh and give Los Altos a chance to walk it off. Singles by Jesse Tolen, Jack Murphy, and Valadez loaded the bases with just one out, and Wells ended the game with a walkoff single that scored Tolen to give Los Altos the 4-3 victory.

Front Row, L-R: Nolan Butts, Jesse Tolen, Zeke Mejia, Evan Gallo, Cooper Kilkenny, Kaden Breuklander

Second Row, L-R: Mateo Valadez, Jack Murphy, Oliver O’Connor, Vinny Guardabascio, Gannon Wells, Lucas Miller, Carson Prince

Coaches, L-R: Mark Murphy, Manny Mejia, Mike Gallo, head coach Mike Kilkenny

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.