SANTA CRUZ—It took two days and just about every last ounce of effort from the DubTown 16-U Colt baseball team out of Watsonville to win the 2021 Santa Cruz Colt Baseball Tournament.
The No. 4-seeded DubTown crawled their way back going from the losers’ bracket to back-to-back wins in the championship round against the top-seeded Jr. Seals on Aug. 8 at Harvey West Park in Santa Cruz.
“We were really proud to go up there and represent Watsonville and show those other teams that we want to get some respect for this town, too,” said DubTown manager Andy Garcia.
DubTown competed with five other teams from Santa Cruz County. They were fresh coming off a bye in the first round, but they lost their opener against the Jr. Seals on Aug. 6 at Santa Cruz High School.
With their back against the wall, DubTown was in the losers’ bracket of the double elimination tournament. They began their title-run with victories against the No. 2 Jr. Mustangs and No. 3 Athletics on Aug. 7.
The following day, they defeated the No. 5 Lumberjacks at Harvey West Park to advance to the championship round in a rematch against the Jr. Seals.
Garcia said he was concerned about the situation with the pitchers because in order to win the championship they had to win five games in two days.
The coaching staff paid close attention to the pitch count but they wound up using all of their available pitchers in the first two games, especially in the 16-15 win against the Jr. Mustangs.
“I was kind of worried because we had to start using all the pitchers,” Garcia said.
DubTown defeated the Jr. Seals, 11-5, in the first game of the championship round. They were forced to play a second game since the Jr. Seals were still unbeaten, up to that point.
The second game was a much closer contest. The Jr. Seals scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning that gave them a 7-6 lead.
DubTown stormed back in the top of the seventh, scoring four runs and taking back the lead at 10-7.
The Jr. Seals added one more run in the bottom of the seventh that made it 10-8 and they threatened to add more with a runner on first base. But left-handed pitcher Mason Borrego picked off the runner for the final out of the game, giving the lone team from Watsonville this year’s Santa Cruz Colt Baseball Tournament title.
“That was huge for us, but everyone played pretty solid,” Garcia said. “Either on defense, drawing a walk, keeping the batting order going or stealing bases, every single kid contributed big time.”
The roster also included Adam Ayon, Sonny Cope, Isaac Garcia, Samuel Garcia, Michael Gonzales, Quinton Hernandez, Brody Legions, Jasiah McKenzie, Diego Mejia, Patrick Miller Brown, Xander Miller Brown, Jesse Navarro, Edgar Ramirez, Brant Sirles, Ryan Solorio and Damian Suchil.
DubTown was mostly composed of players from the Watsonville Pony Reds team and South County high schools including Aptos, Pajaro Valley and Watsonville.
Garcia mentioned that they kept the same roster for the entire regular season, whereas other teams would show up with new rosters each time they played DubTown.
“I don’t think they really ever had the team chemistry like we had,” he said. “We had 17 and we carried that 17 through the regular season and the tournament. I think that’s what really helped us.”
DubTown began competing last week in the Central Coast Youth Baseball League at Manzanita Park in Prunedale.