All stars advance after win on GG field

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The Seal Beach Pony Mustang (7 & 8 year old) all-star team has made it to the regional all-star tournament after beating Newport Harbor, 12-11, in an extra-inning game to capture the runner-up title game of the sectional tournament at the Garden Grove Pony Baseball field. 

On Tuesday, July 3, a walk-off hit put Seal Beach fans on the edge of their seats as their team advanced in the tournament. 

The Seal Beach Pony Mustang (7 & 8 year old) all-star team has made it to the regional all-star tournament after beating Newport Harbor, 12-11, in an extra-inning game to capture the runner-up title game of the sectional tournament at the Garden Grove Pony Baseball field. 

On Tuesday, July 3, a walk-off hit put Seal Beach fans on the edge of their seats as their team advanced in the tournament. 

“Both teams battled well!  It came down to the last pitch and nobody gave up,” Seal Beach Manager Greg Danner said.  “Everyone just battled.” 

With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the eighth, Dylan Demos hit an infield single to score the winning run for Seal Beach. 

“I felt really excited,” Demos, 8, said. “I was not really sure what kind of pitch was thrown, I just swung at the pitch.”

This marked the 22nd game that Seal Beach has played since June 6. The win bumped its overall record to 17-5 and awarded it a second consecutive runner-up finish.

For the most part, Seal Beach controlled the game against Newport Harbor, leading 5-2 after the first inning. During that frame it scored the maximum five runs.

In the top of the second, Rylan Ma’ae made several defensive gems to rob the Newport Harbor offense. The shortstop sprinted into foul territory to make an extraordinary catch for the second out and then caught a line drive to end the inning. 

Ma’ae also delivered a gutsy performance on the mound, tossing shutout ball in the fourth and fifth innings.  However, in the top of the sixth, Newport Harbor, which started the inning behind 11-6, took advantage of several hits, fielding errors, and walks to tie the contest at 11-11.

“It was kind of scary until the last pitch,” Matthew Barry said.

In the bottom of the seventh, Seal Beach missed a golden opportunity to win. With a runner on third and one out, a Seal Beach batter lifted a fly ball deep enough to tag up the winning run. However, the Seal Beach runner forgot to tag up, allowing Newport Harbor to tag third to end the threat.

There was just one more unanticipated threat that faced both teams.  Since the game started at 5:15 p.m. and the sun was about to set on a field without lighting fixtures, if Seal Beach had not won in the eighth, the game would have been postponed until the following day. 

For Seal Beach, Hunter Seamus and Dominic Tsarofski both smacked doubles. Bo McConnell also stroked an RBI single and Matthew Wurmlinger drew three walks and an RBI.