MB Heaters Battle It Out in Championship Game
Mar 30, 2015 07:44PM ● Published by DigMB Staff
The Manhattan Beach Heaters, who took second place, and tournament champions Redondo Beach Samurai.
"The championship game was an extremely competitive game with two quality teams," said Heaters Coach Keith Ramsey. "I thought the Samurai played near flawlessly and was impressed that they executed as well as they did. They are a very well-coached squad with a lot of talent on top of that."
The Heaters had a chance to make a comeback in the final inning but went down on a third out strikeout with bases loaded on a called strike. Just before the final pitch, Jonah Storey hit a long ball foul down the right field line, bringing great hope to teammates and Heaters fans.
But the home plate umpire called another ball on the outside corner a strike, and the Heaters' potential rally was ended.
The Samurai scored on two solo home runs, winning the eight-team weekend tournament.
The tournament featured international competition with a team from the Deutsche Baseball Akademie in Paderborn, Germany, participating. Other teams included South Bay Surf, South Bay Kraken, Beach City Prospects, El Segundo Little League and North Torrance Little League.
"The tournament was a great chance for all of these young ballplayers to meet and compete against some of the best players in Southern California, as well as a skilled team from Germany," said ramsey. "The kids seemed to cherish the opportunity to play against the German team."
The tournament proved to be a great experience for the German lads, who had not been to the United States before. In Germany, baseball is played March through May, not year-round, and games are held every 2-3 weeks since there are so few teams, according to Lars Hengsberger, who traveled from Germany to watch his son play.
Hengsberger, whose young son also plays tennis and ice hockey, was in Los Angeles for the weekend. He told DigMB that soccer is the big sport in Germany and weather limits when baseball can be played.
Matthias Reusse, who also traveled from Germany to see his son play, will stay for the week, soaking up sunshine and the Los Angeles lifestyle. On his flight in to San Francisco, he was amazed at the number of baseball diamonds he saw. In Germany, baseball fields are few.
The German team members, who come from all over Germany, were selected to play on the team and had not played together prior to the tournament. Both dads appreciated the level of competition their boys were getting to play against as well as the cultural experience.
The German team is staying with host families and their daily experiences have included and will include surfing, eating ice cream, and touring theme parks and sights in Los Angeles. Their stay has been arranged thanks to the Beach City Baseball Academy and host families.
The MB Heaters opened the tournament Saturday against the German team, beating them 17-0. The German lads won their next game and played again on Sunday.
Boys on the MB Heaters are Pablo Calzada; Kyle Karro; Jonah Storey; Brian Dennis; Andrew Bessera; Xander Orozco; Max Gordon; Jake Wall; Joey Rhodes; Dylan Knowles and Ben Scott. The team is coached by Ramsey and former Los Angeles Dodgers player Eric Karros.