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Making championship history

Youth Scene

VFW (major) CBA (AAA) capture what is believed to be first TOC titles in Laguna Beach Little League history.

June 13, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
(Don Leach / Coastline…)

It has been said that there is a first time for everything.

On what was believed to be an historic day for Laguna Beach Little League, that "first," happened twice.

Two of the league's teams, VFW (major) and Crescent Bay Advisors (AAA) captured division championships Sunday at the 2013 Little League District 55 Tournament of Champions.

Laguna Beach VFW laid claim to the major division tournament title while Laguna Beach CBA earned the minor division banner on its own home turf, Riddle Field.

Both district titles (major, minor) are believed to be the first for the league in tournament history, LBLL President Jennifer Sweet said.

"This double championship is so exciting for our league," she said. "The kids did a great job playing hard to the end. I am so proud of them. They have made Laguna Beach Little League history."

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Major Division

VFW powers way to championship

VFW steam rolled its way to Sunday's division final at Chapparosa Park in Laguna Niguel. The team outscored its first three opponents, 35-5, to reach the title game where it was to face the Laguna Niguel Nationals.

In its closest outcome of the tournament, VFW emerged with a 4-3 victory in a final that Manager Tim Loughlin expected to be a "tightly-fought game for the crown."

He was right: VFW scored the title-clinching run in extra innings, getting the decisive run in the bottom of the seventh.

VFW got on the scoreboard first by scoring twice in the second inning. Christian Holm singled sharply to center field and was driven home by James Loughlin who tripled down the third base line. Loughlin later scored on a passed ball with Jaden Rea at the plate, to make it 2-0.

VFW added another run in the third inning. John Phelan had a 10-pitch at-bat that he converted into a walk. Ashton Embury also reached base on a walk and several batters later, Nate Magers drilled a single to right field to score Phelan.

Grady Morgan was impressive on the mound and limited Laguna Niguel to single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. He had to exit the game after 5 2/3 innings due to pitch-count limitations.

Laguna Niguel scored the tying run with two out in the top of the sixth. VFW was unable to score in the bottom of the sixth and the game went to extra innings.

Nolan Smith pitched a scoreless top of the seventh for VFW which received key support in right field from Noah Haymond that turned away a scoring threat by the Nationals.

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