Kingsburg 11-70 team

The Kingsburg 11-year-old all-stars won the 2019 Central California Cal Ripken 11-70 State Tournament in Lodi on Friday. Kingsburg defeated Hanford 6-3 in the championship game. 

LODI - The Kingsburg 11-year-old all-stars were champions of the 2019 Central California Cal Ripken 11-70 State Tournament in Lodi on Friday.

The youngsters went 4-1 and outscored its opponents 25-6 throughout the double-elimination tournament that occured on July 1-5.

Kingsburg advances to the Cal Ripken Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament at Vernal, Utah on July 15-21.

“The bats came alive when we needed them,” Kingsburg coach Jared Ekizian said. “The team as itself just came to play and showed up to put together a really good effort on holding the other teams to very minimal runs, but also being able to perform and score when we needed to.”

Kingsburg allowed four of it’s runs to Hanford in two championship games. The boys defeated Hanford 6-3 in a winner take-all game after a 1-0 loss in the first championship contest earlier that night. That 1-0 loss was the only time Kingsburg was shut out in the tournament.

Hanford faced elimination after loss 8-5 to Lodi in the second round of the championship bracket. They had four-straight wins including that 1-0 victory over Kingsburg.

“They’re a good team,” Ekizian said about the Hanford all-stars. “We played them in the beginning of the season and we lost to them before. They ended up buckling down after that first loss. It’s not easy to come back after your first loss and play another game right behind it.”

Kingsburg started it’s tournament run with a 6-1 win over Clovis with a combined no-hitter from Jensen Hirschkorn and Nicholas Lindgren. Hirschkorn threw two innings while Lindgren pitched the other four innings.

In Kingsburg’s second round game against the Cary League All-Stars, Eric Garcia and Gavin Ekizian - Jared Ekizian’s son - threw a combined one-hit shutout in a 4-0 victory. Garcia threw 3 ⅓ shutout innings while Gavin Ekizian finished it off by throwing the final 2 ⅔ innings.

“Our pitching really came through,” Jared Ekizian said.

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Lindgren was named the tournament’s MVP, along with being named to the All-Tournament team. Hirschkorn, Gavin Ekizian, and Maddox Verners were also selected to the All-Tournament team.

The boys will now shift its focus to the regional tournament next week. If Kingsburg comes out on top of the regional tournament, the boys will head to the Cal Ripken 11-70 World Series in Treasure Coast, Florida on Aug. 3-10.

Kingsburg 12-70

KINGSBURG - As for the Kingsburg 12-and-under team, the all-stars went 2-2 in the Central California Cal Ripken 12-70 State Tournament at Safarjian Field on July 1-6.

In the first round, Kingsburg defeated Lodi 3-1 on July 1 behind a two-RBI performance from Aaron Garcia, who also started on the mound. Ethan Salazar entered the game with two runners on base and retired all nine batters he faced to get the win. Dalyn Breckinidge, Jo Jo Englebright and Salazar scored Kignsburg’s runs.

Kingsburg would faced Lodi again, but would lose 4-1 in an elimination game on July 4. Steven Ramirez recorded Kingsburg’s only hit of the game against pitcher Tanner Grove, who pitched a one-hit shutout for Lodi.

On the second day of the tournament, Kingsburg improved to 2-0 in the tourney after an 18-3 win over Buchanan on July 2. Kingsburg scored four times in the first inning before exploding for 14 runs in the second inning. The game was called after three innings due to the 15-run mercy rule. Kingsburg had 12 hits and every starter had at least one hit except for winning pitcher Kaleb Pedersen, who scored twice after reaching base on a pair of walks. Aaron Garcia and Eric Garcia each hit home runs. Aaron hit a two-run homer in the first inning before Eric knocked a three-run bomb in the third. Gavin Enns and Matthew Ward also had two hits for Kingsburg.

Kingsburg fell into the elimination bracket after a 8-1 loss to Hanford on July 3. Mason Soares held Kingsburg to three hits and recorded 11 strikeouts in 5 ⅓ innings. Hanford took advantage of four Kingsburg errors by scoring seven runs in the first two innings. Kyle Garcia scored Kingsburg’s only run with a single and double.

Hanford finished off an 4-0 undefeated run after defeating Kerman 5-0 in the championship game. Hanford advanced to the 12-70 Pacific Southwest Regional Tournament at Rohnert Park in the Bay Area on July 15-20. Kerman will also compete at the regional tournament after Utah South dropped out.

Noah Gonzales of Hanford was the tournament’s MVP, along with Soares, Jaycob Oleas, and Christian Mendez being named to the All-Tournament team. Aaron Garcia was Kingsburg’s lone All-Tournament selection.

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Jeremiah Martinez can be reached at 559-583-2413 or jmartinez@hanfordsentinel.com

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