The Tri-Valley Babe Ruth 15-year-old all-stars went to the great vacation destination of Lake Tahoe, but it was all business for the local boys as they brought home the title of the Pacific Southwest Regional Championships.
By virtue of the win, Tri-Valley advances to the Babe Ruth World Series in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. that begins Thursday and ends next week.
Tri-Valley, which consists of teens from Pleasanton and Danville, opened the double-elimination regional tournament in Tahoe with Southern Utah champion Milford, soundly defeating them 25-1.
After a day off, Tri-Valley took on longtime rival Hawaii in game two. The team from Oahu took Tri-Valley down 9-3. It was gut-check time for Tri-Valley, the two-time defending champions of the tournament as one more loss meant elimination.
The team took it one game at time in hopes of getting to the championship and started with a 9-1 win over South Lake Tahoe, the host team for the tournament. In the first game of the next day, the team beat Yuma, Ariz. 7-2, followed by a thrilling 4-3 win over Torrance, the Southern California representative for a third straight win while facing elimination.
Next up was a rematch with Oahu, a team they would need to beat twice. Tri-Valley took the first step with a 4-1 win, forcing a winner-take-all title game. Once again, the local boys came through, this time with a 9-3 win giving the team the regional title and a spot in the World Series.
The entire team played well throughout the tournament.
The Tri-Valley team consists of pitchers Josh Anderson, Joey Battilega, Shane Cancilla, Evan Chevalier, Patrick Gallagher, Troy Nassar and Jaden Sheppard; catchers Brad Couture and Matt Sugden; infielders Trevor Jackson, Luke Palfalvi and Cory Steinhauer; outfielder Demetre Aaron; and coaches Tony Battilega, Mark Palfalvi and Scott Sugden.
Special honors went to five members of Tri-Valley for their outstanding tournament performance: Joey Battilega as MVP, and Jackson, Sheppard, Steinhauer and Matt Sugden as All-Tournament.
For more information on the World Series tournament or to follow it online, go to www.baberuthleague.org.
Little League Intermediate World Series
The team from Danville once again started hot in the Little League Intermediate World Series held in Livermore last week, before suffering a pair of tough losses to close out their tournament.
Danville, who qualified for the event as the host team by winning the District 57 title, opened the tournament with a 3-2 win over Freehold, N.J. and followed that with a 6-1 win over San Angelo, Texas.
The local boys then picked up their first loss, falling 5-4 to Wailuka, Hawaii. They were eliminated with a 5-4 loss to the team from New Jersey.
New Jersey proceeded to beat Hawaii 6-4 to win the U.S. title and advance to the championship game, but fell 6-5 to the team from Guayama, Puerto Rico in the World Series finale.
* Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. To contact Miller or submit local high school sports scores, game highlights and photographs for his weekly Pleasanton Preps column, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.