Rancho Santa Fe Little League All-Stars win district tournament

Back row: Coaches (l-r): Mike Sweeney, Travis Lee, Greg Rippel, Scott Plasman; Players (l-r): Albert Harris, Donovan Sweeney, Bronson Lee, Kyle Plasman, Nick Kim, Cole Reese, Hudson Lee, Conner Do, Hudson Smith, Kyle Rippel, Wyatt Seltzer. Not pictured: Lukas Minasian

Rancho Santa Fe’s age 8-10 Little League Baseball All-Stars defeated 4S Ranch 6-5 in the California District 31 Tournament championship game July 7.

The game, played at Poway National Little League, was a close contest until the final out. Rancho Santa Fe scored one run in the top of the fourth inning to extend its lead to 6-3. 4S Ranch answered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to come within one run. Tough defense kept both teams scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings for a 6-5 Rancho Santa Fe win.

“As one of the smaller leagues in the district, Rancho Santa Fe’s All-Stars teams are often viewed as the underdog,” explained Rancho Santa Fe All-Stars team manager and MLB veteran Mike Sweeney. “As evidenced by their undefeated run through the tournament, this team is made up of 12 boys passionate about baseball who play with heart and tremendous grit.”

Tournament play began for the Rancho Santa Fe team on June 17 against Encinitas National. Down 7-0 after two innings, Rancho Santa Fe rallied back to win 10-7 in seven innings.

Rancho Santa Fe then went on to defeat Poway National 13-2 and Solana Beach 10-0. Before facing 4S Ranch in the championship game, Rancho Santa Fe defeated 4S Ranch in the semi-finals 11-5.

As District 31 champions, the Rancho Santa Fe All-Stars team advances to the California Section 6 All-Stars Tournament hosted by Rancho Buena Vista Little League in Vista on July 14.