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Rancho Santa Fe Little League Division Champions crowned

Rookie League Champion - Thunder  Front L to R:  Ian Atwell, Alex Kiernan, Sammy Cesari, Kyle Kiernan (World Series MVP), Colin Douglass; 2nd L to R:  Ethan Dunn, Ryan Atwell, Satvik Saripalli, James Wright, Christian Coufal, Cooper Vincik. Back:  Sean Kiernan, Jeff Cesari, Jamie Atwell
Rookie League Champion - Thunder Front L to R: Ian Atwell, Alex Kiernan, Sammy Cesari, Kyle Kiernan (World Series MVP), Colin Douglass; 2nd L to R: Ethan Dunn, Ryan Atwell, Satvik Saripalli, James Wright, Christian Coufal, Cooper Vincik. Back: Sean Kiernan, Jeff Cesari, Jamie Atwell

The Rancho Santa Fe Little League recently congratulated and honored the division champions: Rookie League Champion - Thunder; AAA League Champion - Phillies; and Majors Champion - Cubs (see photos above). The second-seeded Padres jump-started the game with three runs in the top of the first inning against the top-seeded Cubs and starting pitcher Spencer Rydin.  A leadoff double by Padres starter Nicholas Nielsen, a single by Luke Mikolajewski, and a triple down the right field line by Mitchell Caulfield were the key hits in the Padres’ rally.  The Cubs got a run back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI groundout by Kenny Berg.  From there, Rydin and Nielsen settled in, and it was still 3-1 Padres entering the bottom of the third.

(Left) Majors Champion - Cubs  Back row, left to right: Coach Tom Acierno, Manager John Schreiber, Coach Charles George; middle row, left to right: Markie Scherer, Alex Inscoe, Frank Van Den Berg, Jackie Plashkes, Zack George, Mike Schreiber, Jayden Gillespie; front row, left to right: Dennis Smith
(Left) Majors Champion - Cubs Back row, left to right: Coach Tom Acierno, Manager John Schreiber, Coach Charles George; middle row, left to right: Markie Scherer, Alex Inscoe, Frank Van Den Berg, Jackie Plashkes, Zack George, Mike Schreiber, Jayden Gillespie; front row, left to right: Dennis Smith, Spencer Rydin, Alex Styrt, Frankie Acierno, Kenny Berg

Singles by Rydin and Alex Styrt, followed by a walk of Jackie Plashkes, loaded the bases for Mike Schreiber with one out.  Schreiber delivered a rocket into the left field corner for an inside-the-park grand slam that turned the momentum over to the Cubs.

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The Cubs’ defense helped Rydin with fine outfield defense by Dennis Smith and by turning a double play up the middle in the fourth.  Schreiber relieved Rydin with one out in the fifth and struck out two Padres to end a threat.

Rydin added an insurance run for the Cubs with a solo homer to deep left field in the bottom of the inning. 

AAA League Champion - Phillies   Front L to R: Patrick Harrington, Burke Stratton, McCabe Moyer, Aiden Connelly; 2nd L to R: Reese Wazny, Jack Cheney; 3rd L to R: Cayden Caufield, Scott McCue, Tyler Buchner, Ryker Kile, Michael Sweeney, Charlie Mirer; Back: Asst. Coach Steve McCue, Coach Mike Sween
AAA League Champion - Phillies Front L to R: Patrick Harrington, Burke Stratton, McCabe Moyer, Aiden Connelly; 2nd L to R: Reese Wazny, Jack Cheney; 3rd L to R: Cayden Caufield, Scott McCue, Tyler Buchner, Ryker Kile, Michael Sweeney, Charlie Mirer; Back: Asst. Coach Steve McCue, Coach Mike Sweeney, Asst. Coach Scott Stratton

In the sixth, Jackson Baer doubled off the centerfield fence, but the Padres’ rally fell short as Rydin and Schreiber combined to allow only the three first-inning runs.  The Cubs, 12-5 during the regular season, were crowned RSFLL Majors champions by a final score of 6-3.

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