http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2013/07/12/pleasanton-national-intermediate-playing-in-world-series


Pleasanton Weekly

Sports - July 12, 2013

Pleasanton National Intermediate playing in World Series

Livermore hosting 1st Little League World Series in new division

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Pleasanton National Intermediate, a team of 13-year-old players in Pleasanton National Little League, will represent District 57 at the newly created Little League Intermediate 50/70 Baseball Division World Series for 11- to 13-year-olds. The new league is holding its inaugural tournament July 30-Aug. 5 at Max Baer Park, home of Granada Little League, in Livermore.

"It is the first Pleasanton team to make it to the Little League World Series," said Andrea Lander, a player's mom. "Pleasanton National won the District 57 Championship by beating Granada, 9-2, in the final game."

"ESPN is going to be here, and there will be a big parade in Livermore," she added.

The parade begins at 6 p.m., Monday, July 29, following an awards ceremony for the teams, which have already won their divisions, at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore.

Pleasanton National will play in the first game, on Tuesday. The team is managed by Dave Lander and coached by Dale Wolfe and Bob Kaufman. Team members are Mitch Benson, Quinn Brinnon, Max Heverly, Jimmy Kaufman, Maxwell Lander, Nate Lau, Cal O'Loughlin, Nicholas Orecchia, Evan Wolfe, Trevor Bergman, Drew Kobayashi, Trevor Wallace and Drew McGinty.

The new division will have a pitching distance of 50 feet and base paths of 70 feet. Livermore was chosen last summer as the site for the 50/70 Baseball Division World Series from among several cities, including Vancouver, Washington and Chicago.

"It was a difficult choice, since all the cities are so close in terms of what they have to offer," said Stephen D. Keener, president and CEO of Little League Baseball and Softball. "Ultimately, the Board of Directors settled on Northern California, the greater San Francisco area, Livermore and Granada Little League as its top choice."

The World Series Tournament Director will be California District 57 Administrator Dave Wetmore, a San Ramon resident who has implemented several levels of the 50-70 Pilot Program throughout his district.

"The 50/70 Pilot Program has been welcomed with open arms here," Wetmore said. "People see it as a great way to make the transition from the Little League field to the standard baseball diamond. For us, it has kept more players in our programs into their teenage years."

"We've got 10 teams coming in to Northern California for the inaugural series," Wetmore said.

This includes teams from Asia, Latin America, Puerto Rico and Canada, along with five teams from the United States, from the East, Southeast, Southwest, West, the Central U.S. and a local team. International teams will compete against each other, as will the American teams, with the winners going head to head in the finals.

The Intermediate World Series could be an annual event for Livermore if all goes well and the turnout for the games -- which are free -- is high, Wetmore said.

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