The Los Gatos Legends became the Colt World Series Pony baseball champions Thursday afternoon when they defeated title holder Levittown, Puerto Rico by a score of 17-7.
The Legends put up 11 runs in the bottom of the first inning, hitting lots of doubles and aggressively attacking pitchers to the cheering of more than 1,500 spectators at Burt E. Loeb Stadium in Lafayette, IN.
"We had a pretty good idea and game plan going into the match on how they were going to attack us, but our boys did a really good job of just not letting the emotions get to them," said Los Gatos Legends Coach Kris Hesenflow.
"The kids are pretty pumped. I don't think it's set in for them the magnitude of their win. They won with class and with style. They played hard baseball. They knew they had this thing in the grasp of their hands and it was just a matter of closing it and they did a great job of doing that," Hesenflow added.
The team's 16 members, all young men who attend local schools, received medals.
Brett Solano, of Westmont High School, received the Pitcher of the Tournament Award. During all its winning games, Solano had distinguished himself by throwing well, Hesenflow said.
Lucas Erceg, of Westmont High School, received the Most Outstanding Offensive Player. He hit 800 during the tournament, meaning he hit 20 out of 26 at bat.
Austin Guibor, of St. Francis High School, hit the game-winning home run and Tyler Deason, also of St. Francis, was the winning pitcher, Hesenflow said.
To get to the World Series, the Legends won in the sectional competition facing many area local teams in Santa Clara at Washington Park. They then played in the zone tournament in San Jose at PAL stadium. For the championship spot they beat the Colton Night Hawks from Fontana, Southern California.
The team defeated Puerto Rico Saturday by a score of 5-2, Germany on Sunday by a score of 17-11, Steger, IL on Tuesday by a score of 11-1, Lafayette, IN, on Wednesday by a score of 12-2 and Puerto Rico Thursday by 17-7 to take home the World Series title.
The top two teams from two pools of 14 played during the tournament, explained Hesenflow, who's been coaching the Colt league for two years.
Called Los Gatos Legends because the league is based in Los Gatos, Hesenflow said the team is proud to represent the town in the Colt league. "The title win means we've put Los Gatos in the baseball world map. People will look back and realize Los Gatos has an excellent team and that represents the town well," he said.
The team's picture, its jersey, hat and game ball in the Colt Hall of Fame in Lafayette, IN, where the World Series have been hosted for 49 of the past 50 years, Hesenflow explained.