In the District 17 Juniors All Star tournament, the San Marino National Little League Juniors baseball team dominated the competition by going 3-0 to win the District 17 banner for the first time in six years.
SMNLL started with a high-scoring 22-12 win against Pasadena American Little League and then beating Pasadena Southwest, 13-1, in the semifinals and again, 7-4, in the championship game.
There was an impressive pitching clinic by the tournament’s MVP, J.T. Morris, as he mowed down the competition. Meanwhile, SMNLL standout hitters Parker Wilson, Jeremiah Flores and Nick Acuna combined for a staggering 15-for-16 at the plate during the tournament opening game.
After the SMNLL Juniors team captured the District 17 banner, they participated in the California Section 2 tournament in Encino. San Marino lost to Bishop in the first game, which put them in the losers’ bracket and needing to win four consecutive games in four days to capture the Section 2 banner.
And the local players did just that.
The team galvanized around one another, taking game 2 against La Crescenta, 18-3. The next day San Marino avenged its earlier loss by defeating Bishop, 5-4, putting them into the championship round.
San Marino stepped up and captured the next two games against Canyon Country by scores of 14-8 and 9-3 to bring home the Section 2 banner. Parker Wilson led the way as a stellar offensive threat on his way to becoming the sectionals MVP.
This marked the first SMNLL Juniors team to win the Section 2 championship since 2013 and fifth in SMNLL history.
The team went onto the State tournament in Murietta, where the local players met stiff competition, dropping their first two games.
“The theme of this team was ‘next man up,’ as they had illness and vacations that required an ever-changing roster but in the end they prevailed,” a coach said. “This is a special group of young men and for some of them it was their third District banner and first Sectional banner. The future of San Marino baseball is bright!”