SANTA CRUZ—The DubTown 18-U baseball team out of Watsonville faced elimination not once, but four times during this past week’s NorCal Super Regional Palomino Tournament.
With their backs against the wall, DubTown defeated the Santa Clara Red Sox twice on Sunday to capture the championship at Harvey West Park.
It was the second-straight title for some of the players of this particular group who won last year in the COLT division.
This year’s championship was nearly a replica of last year’s title run when the 16-U squad was faced with some adversity after also losing the opener.
DubTown manager Andy Garcia remembers it all too well because he was there for last year’s title, as well.
“Every game after that we had to win or else we would’ve been knocked out,” he said. “Both years we did it the tough way.”
The Palomino tournament featured four teams that included DubTown, a team out of Salinas and the Hawks which was made up of kids from both Watsonville and Aromas.
The tournament also featured the Santa Clara Red Sox, which Garcia called a travel ball team loaded with college-bound players.
Garcia added that DubTown was one of the youngest teams in the tournament.
DubTown lost, 10-0, to the Red Sox in Friday’s opener which automatically put them in the losers’ bracket.
“Maybe they like the pressure,” Garcia said. “When they know they have to win I think they play a little bit better. They deal better with the pressure.”
On Saturday, DubTown started off the day with a crushing 21-1 win over the Hawks to keep them alive in the tourney.
Trinity High alumni Josh Russo followed up with a great performance on the mound for DubTown in a win against Salinas, putting them into Sunday’s championship round.
“That Salinas team had players from Palma and Monterey, so they had some pretty good players over there,” Garcia said.
DubTown was faced with the challenge of having to win two-straight over the Red Sox—who finished the regular season undefeated—in order to capture the title.
Aptos High alumnus Sam Chitwood—who is one of just two players that recently graduated—threw more than 100 pitches over five innings for DubTown in Game 1’s 8-6 win over Santa Clara.
Watsonville junior Edgar Ramirez closed it out in the final two innings, while fellow Wildcatz teammate Brody Legions, a junior, hit a home run.
Aptos High juniors Andrew Silva and Jasiah McKenzie teamed up together for Game 2 to help DubTown defeat the Red Sox, 8-6, for the Super Regional title.
With the win, DubTown advanced to the West Zone Tournament in San Bernardino that started Thursday.