The Tri-Valley all-stars have booked their spot in the Babe Ruth 14-year-old World Series in Massachusetts, and for most of the boys, a tournament against the nation's best teen baseball players will be a familiar experience.
Eleven of the players on this year's 14-year-old Tri-Valley team won a Babe Ruth World Series championship last year in the 13-year-old division in New York.
The boys are in Westfield, Mass. to try to make it back-to-back World Series titles.
This year's 14-year-old all-stars consists of players from Pleasanton, Danville and San Ramon, including three players who were not on last year's 13-year-old squad.
The Tri-Valley team opened their successful tournament run by beating Palo Alto 7-0 this summer in the Northern California championship in Woodland.
That secured the teens a ticket to the Pacific Southwest Regional tournament, where in their first three games they beat the Oahu Sluggers (Hawaii) 8-5, Reedley (Fresno) 8-0 and Westchester (Southern California) with a 2-1 walk-off win.
In the regional championship, Tri-Valley beat the Hamilton Huskies (Arizona) 9-5. Monte Vista High's Tommy Gavello was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, and Amador Valley High's Jaden Sheppard earned Most Valuable Pitcher.
Next up for the local boys are the games starting on Aug. 11.
They will compete against other regional winners from across the U.S., starting in pool play and hoping to advance to the single-elimination bracket for a chance to earn a spot in the championship game Aug. 18.
To follow the Babe Ruth 14-year-old World Series, visit www.westfieldworldseries.org or check out the GameChanger app (team name, Tri-Valley Babe Ruth 14 yr. all-stars).
The Tri-Valley squad includes Sheppard (P/1B/OF), Demetre Aaron (OF/P), Joey Battilega (OF/P), Trevor Jackson (Util), Troy Nassar (P) and Luke Palfalvi (Util) from Amador Valley, Josh Anderson (P/1B), Max Masajlo (P/OF) and Cory Steinhauer (C/Util) from Foothill, Evan Chevalier (P/1B), Jack Grant (SS) and Michael O'Hara (OF/Util) from San Ramon Valley, Gavello (2B) from Monte Vista and Asher Golden (3B/P) from California.
The coaching staff is comprised of manager David Grant, Dons coach Tony Battilega, advanced scout Michael O'Hara and Mark Palfalvi, GameChanger administrator.