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July 19, 2011 > Tri City club one step closer to World Series

Tri City club one step closer to World Series

By Giovanni Albanese Jr.

Something special is brewing in the Tri Cities again. Two years ago, Fremont-based Niles-Centerville Little League Seniors baseball team shellacked any team in their path en route to a Senior League World Series berth where they finished as the runner up to Texas. Fast forward to the present day and a District 45 (Hayward area and Union City) Big League club (16-19 year olds) is on the brink of becoming the next local World Series team.

In the Northern California tournament, representing Section 3, the D45 club (which has players from Mt. Eden, Hayward West National, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo American, Tennyson American, San Leandro, Union City National and Union City American little leagues) went unbeaten, topping Section 5 (7-4 on July 8), Section 2 (11-2 on July 9), Section 4 (11-2 on July 10) and Section 5 again (6-1 on July 13) to take the title.

With the Nor Cal tourney championship, D45, now representing Northern California, drove up to Bremerton, Wash., to take part in the Big League Western Regional tournament. Beginning on Saturday, July 16, D45, which has James Logan High School players Joe Armstrong, Alex Abeta, Brandon Yau, Pascal Flores, Dimitri Castro and Rafael Degadillo, took on the always tough Hawaii. It was a close match, but the local boys pulled it out, 5-3.

In the Western Regional, teams from Hawaii, Washington, host-city Bremerton, Wash., Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Southern California, along with D45 (Nor Cal) are vying for a spot in the Big League World Series. The tournament is an eight-team, two pool event, with the top two clubs from each pool advancing to the single-game elimination playoffs.

With a 1-0 record through the weekend, D45 looked to keep its winning ways with a Monday morning match with Oregon. Result for the contest was unavailable at press. Log onto the TCV Sports website for scores and schedules ( D45's last pool play game is on Wednesday, July 20, 6:30 p.m. against Nevada.

Should the D45 club keep on the winning track, they'd be representing the United States West at the Big League World Series in Easley, S.C. from July 27 through Aug. 3. If that is the case, manager Chris Staley and his club will need help getting there.

"If you would like to donate and help these youngsters go play contact Tina Staley at 510-200-1671 or, or Felisha Yau at 408-482-1707 or All donations are tax deductible."

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