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Renton Little Leaguers mop up area teams
For every baseball player, Major League dreams start on Little League diamonds. Little League is where players hone their skills: How to bat, how to throw, how to field and for some select Renton Little Leaguers, how to win.
Renton Little League Cardinals teams swept the Minors and Majors titles in the District 7 Tournament of Champions competition on June 15. District 7 includes areas around Renton, West Seattle, Seatac and Des Moines.
The Majors Cardinals squeezed through the first two rounds on a pair of one-run victories before beating the South Highline American Little League White Sox 11-1 in the championship game.
“It felt great. It was a great experience,” said Brooks Jacobs, a player on Majors Cardinals. “It was tough getting there.”
A second-place finish in the tournament last year gave the 12-year-old and the rest of his team a bitter taste that they didn’t want again. “We didn’t want a trophy that said we almost won,” Jacobs said.
The Minors Cardinals shut out their first two opponents, then beat the South Highline National League Marlins 7-5 to take the title.
“It just felt great, especially since this is the first championship game I’ve ever been in,” said Matt Kvech, a player on the Minors Cardinals. “I’m just thinking about the next game. You’ve got to go game by game.”
After the win, the players threw their gloves and hats into the air in victorious celebration.
“It appeared to me like they had won the World Series,” said Dave Anderson, manager of the Minors team and treasurer of the Renton Little League Board of Directors. “It was just total elation. It’s something I’ll never forget. I’m sure they’ll never forget it either.”
Next up for the Renton Little League players is the District 7 Minors and Majors All Star Tournaments. There are a total of three tournaments: Minors ages 9-10, Minors ages 10-11, and Majors (ages 11-12). Each Little League in District 7 put together an all-star team through tryouts to compete in the tournament. The Minors tournaments started June 21 and run through June 29. The Majors tournament runs from June 28-July 4.
The 10-year-old Kvech came through for his team in a big way in the Minors’ (9-10) first win of the all-star tournament. He hit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning to give his team an 8-7 win over the Rainier District Little League team. The Minors team then beat South Highline American Little League 20-3 in the second round on June 22. The team plays West Seattle Little League in the next round Wednesday at 6 p.m.
The other all-star Minors team (10-11) lost to South Highline American Little League 11-9 in the first round, then beat Pacwest Little League 15-4 in the second round.
The two Renton Little League Minors all-star teams will go as far as the state tournament if they win their district tournaments. The Majors all-star team will move to state if it wins districts. State tourna-
ments for both teams start July 19. If the Majors team wins state, it will move on to a regional tournament (starts early August), then if it wins regionals, it moves on to the Little League World Series.
Anderson said if a Renton Little League team made it to the World Series it would be a “feat of unbelievable proportions.”
Adam McFadden can be reached at email@example.com or 425-255-3484, ext. 5054.