Two teams of Sonoma’s best Little League players, the 10U and 12U All Stars, won their Bay Area tournaments earlier this month, and advance this weekend to the next level of play with a section series of games – to be held in the Yolo County community of Woodland, north of Davis and west of Sacramento, for the 10U team, and in Alameda, Contra Costa County, for the 12U team.
Both teams are “all stars,” selected by a vote of their fellow Little Leaguers and coaches. League play in Sonoma began in April, as it does every year (COVID shut it down in 2020), and the playoff season generally takes part in July. It can eventually lead to an appearance at the National Little League tournament in Williamsport, Pennsylvania - as it did for the 2019 12U team.
Sonoma Little League 12U All Star team, with players from 10 to 12 years old, won the District 53 Champion title and advance to sections this weekend. This year is the fourth straight District Championship for the 12U's.
The team next plays in the Section 1 tournament on Saturday, July 17, in Alameda at 4 p.m. against Tiburon (at Will C. Wood Middle School, 420 Grand Street, Alameda). Section 1 consists of five Bay Area districts; the winner advance to San Bernadino for the state championship against 10 section leaders.
But the losers bracket can be an opportunity, as the team showed in their previous tournament. Losing to Napa American in the tourney’s first game, 2-0, they spent the next three games amassing 60 runs, and giving up only 4. They crushed American Canyon (23-2), St. Helena (14-2), and Benicia (23-0) to set up a rematch against Napa American – a game Sonoma won on a walk-off home run by Mason Pucci in the bottom of the sixth inning, 4-3.
The 12U squad then faced the as-yet-undefeated Napa Nationals in a pair of games for the championship, and returned to form with two high-scoring victories, 13-2 and 19-3, for the District 53 title.
“Every player has contributed to the success of this team by their attitude, at bats or their plays on the field,” said the 12U All Star coach Brandon Petersen. “This is a great, fun group of boys and I am so proud of them and how they have come together as a team.”
The 10U team also won the District 53 title for their age bracket. Their next game is Saturday, July 17, at 10 a.m. vs. Woodland at the Woodland Little League Fields.
12U coaches are Petersen, Mike Conway and Nate Reynes; 10U coaches are Will Subaie, Casey Rogina, Clark Stoner and Justin Weaver. Team rosters can be found at sonomalittleleague.com.